Cops: Nigerian druglord spilled beans on Cwele

2010-01-31 09:28

NIGERIAN Frank Nabolis, who is ­behind bars on drug-dealing

charges, may have spilled the beans on Sheryl Cwele, the wife of State Security

­Minister ­Siyabonga Cwele, who was ­arrested on Friday and charged with

­trafficking drugs.

Sheryl Cwele was arrested and charged by the Hawks over her

­alleged role in the recruitment of drug mules for an international

drug-trafficking ring.

A police officer close to the investigation told City Press there

was enough information to convince the Hawks to make the arrest.

The officer said Nabolis told police about Cwele’s alleged

involvement in conspiring to import cocaine by recruiting young white women on

the pretext of ­arranging short-term jobs for them overseas.

City Press has also learned from ­reliable sources that the drug

network that Cwele and Nabolis are ­allegedly part of is actually much ­bigger

than the single incident that led to a South African drug mule ­being sentenced

to eight years in a Brazilian prison.

According to the sources, Nabolis’s name had been mentioned over at

least eight years by South Africans in ­several countries imprisoned for

drug-related offences.

“In Mauritius, Peru, Turkey, France, Spain, Brazil. You name it,

Frank’s name was mentioned. The network is bigger than anyone had thought,” the

source said.

Cwele and Nabolis are each facing one count of dealing in dangerous

­dependency-producing drugs.

They also face two counts of incitement to dealing in dangerous

dependency-producing drugs, dating back to May and June 2008.

The charges include dealing or ­conspiring to deal in drugs, and

­procuring one woman – called Charmaine Moss – to collect drugs in Turkey and

another woman, Tessa Beetge, to smuggle 9kg of cocaine out of South


Beetge was arrested in Sao Paulo by Brazilian police on June 13,

2008, after they discovered 9,2kg of cocaine concealed in her luggage.

She is currently serving an eight-year jail sentence in Sao Paulo

for drug-trafficking.

It had been reported that Cwele was being investigated after claims

that she was directly linked to Beetge.

Last year Beetge, a Margate mother of two daughters, and her family

told the media that Sheryl Cwele was ­directly involved in the drug charges

against Beetge.

E-mails and SMS messages allegedly sent by Cwele tie her to Beetge

during the latter’s 2008 journey from South America to South Africa.

At the time it was reported that Cwele sent Beetge an e-mail

saying: “Frank told me about the delay which is for your own good really . . .

avoid people who may end up asking a lot of questions . . . hang in


Cwele was allegedly still in contact with Nabolis soon after

Beetge’s ­arrest in Brazil.

The case was postponed to Friday for a formal bail


  • Also on Friday afternoon, the ­Supreme Court of Appeal threw out

    Minister Siyabonga Cwele’s application to appeal against a decision ­taken by

    the High Court to force former spymaster Barry Gilder to ­testify in the trial

    of former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

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