'Diamond champagne' and murder plots - sensational claims in Modack bail bid

2018-01-03 20:51
Charl Kinnear, an investigating officer probing club fights in Cape Town, leaves the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. He's testifying in the matter. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

Charl Kinnear, an investigating officer probing club fights in Cape Town, leaves the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. He's testifying in the matter. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

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Cape Town - Controversial businessman Nafiz Modack allegedly extorted money from several rich business people, as well as two Israeli men, who wanted to sell high-end champagne containing diamonds in clubs around Cape Town.

Modack is also alleged to have wanted several rivals killed and has apparently claimed one of the Western Cape’s top police officers is a gangster, who was involved in the murder of an attorney in 2016.

These details emerged in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday in an application Modack and four co-accused had lodged for their release on bail.

Modack, as well as Colin Booysen - who is the brother of suspected Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome "Donkie" Booysen - Jacques Cronje, Ashley Fields, and Carl Lakay, face extortion charges relating to nightclub security.

Ties between Modack and government officials were also alluded to in court on Wednesday.

For a detailed breakdown on what has been happening in the underworld nightclub security takeover, see News24's showcase Underworld Unmasked

Charl Kinnear, a police colonel who is investigating fights in clubs and who has been testifying in in the matter since last week, said on Wednesday that Modack was in debt and money he made from extortion helped him maintain his lifestyle.

He said he did not believe the five accused in the case should be released on bail as he feared they would threaten witnesses and cause further violence.

"I foresee the possibility exists that more innocent people will get killed and injured," Kinnear testified.

He said a bouncer was stabbed to death at the Cubana in Green Point - an incident which unfolded in the early hours of December 3, simply because Modack wanted VIP seating and "refused to sit on the stoep" where other members of the public were seated.

Kinnear said they were well organised.

"The accused were driving around in convoys like only the president can."

National police intervention

He said the turf battle over nightclub security became so bad at one point, the national police commissioner had ordered that 500 staff be deployed there one evening to put Long Street, a popular party hub in the Cape Town city centre, on lockdown.

News24 reported on this crackdown at the time, which had involved the special task force, in May 2017.

Kinnear on Wednesday testified that Modack recruited Igor Russol, who is originally from the Ukraine and who was previously based in Cape Town.

Russol, who at one point worked for slain underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka, was to have helped take over the security of nightclubs.

According to Kinnear, Russol had detailed a meeting between Modack, two Israeli men and two other men.

'Diamond champagne'

"The two gents from Israel were marketing champagne - diamond champagne," Kinnear said.

This, he explained, was champagne containing diamonds which they wanted to sell "at a very large price".

Kinnear had Googled the champagne and found the most expensive bottle sells for $250 000.

He testified that Modack had extorted R200 000 from the two Israeli men and, in exchange, would provide "safe passage to sell this diamond champagne". 

'Rich Jewish people' targeted for cash

"Igor Russol said, after extorting from the Israeli people, Nafiz Modack started extorting large amounts of cash from rich Jewish people in the greater Cape Town area," Kinnear said.

Cronje had known who to target as this had been his task when he had previously worked with Beeka.

Kinnear said the targeted business people would approach advocate Pete Mihalik.

Mihalik would then agree to a meeting being set up between the business people and Modack, Colin Booysen and other associates of theirs.

'Advocate facilitated meetings'

"Pete Mihalik would be like a facilitator," Kinnear testified.

It was then agreed a fee of R100 000 would be paid to Modack and Colin Booysen.

Last week in court, other allegations against Mihalik, who has not been present during proceedings when the claims have been made, surfaced.

Kinnear last week testified that a firearm was stolen during an altercation in Parow in March. The firearm, he said, had turned up at Mihalik’s offices.

Mihalik, Kinnear had said, told controversial businessman Andre Naude he would return the firearm to its owner in exchange for R20 000. 

Brian Wainstein had paid over this money and the firearm was returned. 

News24 previously reported that Wainstein, known as the international "Steroid King," was shot dead in his Constantia home in August.

On Wednesday Kinnear testified that Russol had said that Modack wanted rival businessman Mark Lifman, as well as Jerome Booysen, murdered.

READ: Modack allegedly planned to kill businessman Mark Lifman, court hears

After that he then wanted to kill Colin Booysen, who worked with him and who, as one his co-accused in the case, sits next to him in court.

Kinnear said Russol had stopped working for Modack in May 2017.

'Switching sides'

Russol had later started working for Lifman. He became the manager of Iconic Lounge, an establishment in popular Long Street in the Cape Town city centre, which is owned by Lifman.

Kinnear said at one point, Russol had been eating inside Iconic Lounge when he noticed a person who tried to shoot him.

This person was tackled and, according to Kinnear, there were messages on his cellphone from Colin Booysen saying he must "kill the Russian that's in the club".

During Wednesday's proceedings, Kinnear said Modack had recorded conversations of himself with others.

One conversation was with someone in Serbia who turned out to be the person who had provided information for the first few chapters of author Jacques Pauw's book The President’s Keepers.

This, Kinnear testified, showed Modack's ties to South African government officials.

Claims top cop is a gangster linked to murder

Kinnear said, in the recorded conversation Modack alleged Major-General Jeremy Vearey, who heads the Cape Town cluster of police and who was instrumental in Modack's arrest, was a 27s gang member who worked for a man named Red.

Modack, in the conversation and according to Kinnear, said Vearey had worked with Red "to kill attorney Noorudien Hassan".

Hassan, who had been involved in several high-profile cases linked to gangs, was murdered in Lansdowne on November 7, 2016.

Kinnear on Wednesday said, in another recording Modack claimed he and Vearey were on the payroll of Jerome Booysen and Lifman.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kinnear testified that, in another recording he had, between Modack and another person who could not be clearly heard, Modack said he "had to do a R12m debt collection for" Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.

READ:Krejcir, Lolly Jackson links emerge in Modack bail bid

This had to be collected from the wife of murdered Teazers owner Lolly Jackson.

Jackson was shot dead at his Kempton Park home in May 2010.

The bail application is expected to continue on January 11.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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