Man bust towing boat stuffed with R400m worth of cocaine to remain in custody

A joint operation has resulted in nearly a ton of a cocaine being recovered from the hull of a boat.
A joint operation has resulted in nearly a ton of a cocaine being recovered from the hull of a boat.
Image: Supplied: HAWKS

A 39-year-old man who was arrested on the N1 near Pretoria this week after being busted hauling a ski boat, which was stuffed with cocaine worth millions of rand, will remain in custody after his case was postponed on Friday.

Pieter van Zyl appeared in the Pretoria magistrate's court after his arrest on Wednesday. He was nabbed while towing a 3.7m boat, which had pure cocaine worth an estimated R400m hidden in its hull.

Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale said Van Zyl was apparently travelling from Cape Town and had been in Gauteng for some time.

“However, his destination cannot be revealed at this stage as he is yet to apply for bail”.

Van Zyl's case was postponed to June 11, for a formal bail application.

A multidisciplinary team comprising the SA African Narcotic Enforcement Bureau, Pretoria Serious Organised Crime, Tactical Operations Management Section of the Hawks with the assistance of the Crime Intelligence head office was involved in his arrest on the N1 north near the R21 flying saucer interchange.

“It is alleged that a bakkie that was towing a 12-foot ski boat was stopped after information was received. Upon searching the boat the team found 800kg of compressed pure cocaine with an estimated street value of R400m. Investigations are continuing and more arrests are imminent,” said Mogale.

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation national head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya praised the team involved in the bust.

“The drug seizure has dealt a blow to these illegal activities of international organised criminal groups. We shall leave no stone unturned in addressing the proliferation of illegal drugs for either local consumption or for transit to other jurisdictions.”

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