Cape Town – A highly sensitive investigation diary and records that may expose details of an informant have apparently been leaked in a mammoth firearms smuggling case, involving 3 028 police dockets linked to stolen guns.
It is understood that the strictly confidential documents were allegedly leaked to the defence team in the matter.
The head of the Western Cape’s Crime Intelligence division, Mzwandile Tiyo, was to have been served with a court order relating to the case to, among other things, see to it that the confidential documents were handed to the State.
Rondebosch businessman Irshaad “Hunter” Laher and Vereeniging arms dealer Alan Raves are the accused in the matter.
‘Guns to gangsters’
They are involved in a case linked to the alleged selling of firearms, meant to have been destroyed by police, to gangsters around the Western Cape.
An ex-police colonel, now serving a jail sentence for his role in the saga, previously said he had sold at least 2 000 firearms to Laher who allegedly paid him to steal guns meant for destruction.
According to an order handed down in the Western Cape High Court about a week ago, and stamped May 19, Laher’s legal representative is instructed to give the State “all the particulars the State dispute were voluntarily disclosed to the defence”.
These included the investigation diary of police dockets and “all records, files and documents in their possession that relate to the disclosure of the part of an informant/source”.
These documents need to be handed to the State by June 9.
Information leaks and a murder
News24 understands that allegedly leaked information relating to the case was found in the offices of attorney Noorudien Hassan after he was killed. He was part of a legal team dealing with the Laher matter and was also linked to some of the province’s most high-profile gang cases.
Hassan was murdered outside his Lansdowne home in November 2016.
Earlier this week, in a seemingly unrelated interview, high-ranking Western Cape policeman Major-General Jeremy Vearey told News24 that he was a target of constant smear campaigns, being run by senior police officers and politicians with the help of gangsters.
He had mentioned Hassan.
Vearey had said he was aware of a particular crime intelligence officer who had previously visited Hassan about claims to be concocted against him.
3 028 dockets
In the court order handed down earlier this month, further light was shed on the magnitude of the firearms case.
The divisional commissioner of detective services was instructed to ensure that 3 028 police dockets, linked through the Integrated Ballistic Identification System to the stolen firearms, be collated.
This information had to be handed to the prosecution before July 31.
The court ordered that the divisional crime intelligence commissioner ensure “all the interception directions”, issued by the designated judge and relating to the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, be handed to the prosecution before or on June 30.
It also ordered that the investigating officer should serve of a copy of the order on the divisional commissioner of detective services and the divisional commissioner of crime intelligence.
The case was postponed to September 22.
2 400 stolen firearms
Laher stands accused of buying guns from ex-policeman Chris Prinsloo of Vereeniging. In June 2016, Prinsloo was sentenced to 18 years behind bars after entering a plea and sentence agreement with the State.
He pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including theft, racketeering, and money laundering.
Prinsloo, a former police colonel, was in charge of the police armoury and stole 2 400 guns over almost a decade. Police were meant to destroy all discarded, redundant, and obsolete firearms.
These weapons had to be kept locked in sealed steel boxes at the confiscated firearms store in Silverton, Gauteng, before being destroyed.
Prinsloo apparently got to know Laher well when they were stationed at De Deur police station at one stage.
According to an amended indictment, Laher offered Prinsloo R2m in exchange for stolen firearms and ammunition that were meant to be destroyed.
89 children murdered
Netwerk24 previously reported that 89 children had been shot dead on the Cape Flats between February 2010 and December 2015 with firearms stolen by Prinsloo. In that same period, another 170 children survived after being shot with the same firearms.
The incidents were linked via ballistics to more than 800 firearms that Western Cape detectives had traced so far.
Raves allegedly offered Prinsloo and another police officer R100 000 for firearms and ammunition. He was charged with stealing parts of firearms – between 300 and 400 rifles, and up to 20 000 rifle cartridges.
The firearms matter was touched on in the Cape Town Labour Court case involving Vearey and Major General Peter Jacobs.
Vearey and Jacobs are challenging police management, including Tiyo and acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, for allegedly demoting them.
In June 2016, Vearey, who was deputy provincial commissioner for detective services, was suddenly shifted to a position he had previously filled – commander of the Cape Town cluster of police stations. Jacobs, who headed the province’s crime intelligence unit, was appointed Wynberg cluster commander.
1 066 killings
Jacobs, in an affidavit in the matter, has referred to the firearms case, saying 888 of the 2 000 firearms Prinsloo supplied, were forensically connected to 1 066 murders. This was for the period between 2010 and May 31, 2016.
“The outstanding balance of firearms might be linked to both crimes before 2010 as well as those crimes post-May 2016.”
Jacobs said, when more than 250 firearms were found in Valhalla Park house in October 2016, he and Vearey, despite their expertise and probes into illegal firearms, were told to leave the scene.
They said the instruction apparently came from Tiyo.