Agliotti tells of his role in drug ring

2011-03-29 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Glenn Agliotti yesterday testified how he and his smuggling partners talked in code when planning to land more than two tons of hashish [a thick, dark-coloured resin made from cannabis plants] in South Africa in 2006.

Agliotti testified in the trial of Stephanos Paparas (43), his father, Dimitrio (72), and Stanley Poonin (37) in the Germiston regional court how they planned, organised and transported drugs from Iran to South Africa.

The men are being charged with the illegal possession of hashish.

Agliotti, who described himself as a businessman and import-export clearing agent, especially for shipping containers, told how he and Stephanos Paparas met at a restaurant in Sandton to discuss smuggling 2 068 kg of hashish, with an estimated street value of some R250 million, into SA.

They decided to list the load on the import manifesto as “gas stoves”. A previous load on which they had co-operated was exported to Canada. Apart from hashish, they also co-operated on importing uncustomed cigarettes. During telephonic conversations about the routes and destinations of the hashish, they always used the code word “shoes”, Agliotti testified.

He said it cost about R30 000 to get the necessary documentation and a further R5 000 to make the documents disappear in order to destroy any paper trail of their crime. He was paid R150 000.

In answer to the questions by advocate Sita Kolbe for the defence, Agliotti acknowledged that he was at that stage also a police informant. His tip-offs had enabled the police to confiscate two loads of mandrax. He said he was never compensated for his leads.

Instead, Agliotti was arrested soon after the incarceration of the three accused in 2006, and he entered into a plea bargain with the state. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail, suspended to five years, as well as a fine of R100 000 or five years’ imprisonment, if he did not testify against his former friends and business partners.

Agliotti had at that stage already been arrested for the murder of Brett Kebble, on which charge he was acquitted last year.

He admitted that he paid Anthony Dormehl, a cartage operator for Agliotti, to take the “stoves” from Sandton to Turffontein, among other places.

Dormehl, the former Scorpions’ informant in this case, testified in 2008 that he collected and delivered the hashish on the instructions of “the Landlord”. Agliotti yesterday denied that he was known as the “Landlord”. The trial continues.

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