Cop reveals Modack crew named boss in honour of drug lord

A Durban cops says alleged underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack’s henchman referred to him as “Pablo”, in reference to Pablo Escobar.

Links between Modack, and cops in Durban were laid bare at the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday amid ongoing testimonies into his alleged attempts to extort a Cape Town businessman.

Chuckles were heard in the courtroom as a Durban cop took to the stand to tell Judge Robert Henney of his eagerness to meet Nafiz who he dubbed as ‘The Robin Hood of Cape Town’, and ‘Pablo’ in reference to the notorious Colombian drug lord.

Warrant Officer Kelvin Shunmugan flew in from Durban on Monday to testify in a case centred on the extortion of a client of criminal lawyer, William Booth.

Criminal: Pablo Escobar. Picture: supplied

The client who was dubbed ‘Mr C’ testified from Dubai saying he fled the country after Modack’s ‘Hells Angels’ were hired by Durban businessman, Shanil Maharaj.

Maharaj told the court that he hired Modack to recover over R500 000 from Mr C for an investment deal that went sour with the belief that it was a ‘legal collection’.

According to the State’s case, Modack’s co-accused, Jacques Cronje, met with Mr C to extort the money and also threatened to kill the witness and his family by placing a bounty of R300 000 on their heads.

Maharaj told the court that Modack had put him in contact with Shunmugan and it is understood this was also to pursue a criminal case against Mr C.

In awe: Cop Shunmugan. Picture: screengrabbed

A grinning Shunmugan told the court he was impressed with Modack’s security detail and jumped at the chance to be introduced to Modack’s affiliate, Anwar Gallie.

The cop shared: “In Durban, we follow on Facebook what is happening in Cape Town. He [Modack] was a small guy taking on the giants and was the Robin Hood of Cape Town.“

Shunmugan said during video calls between Gallie and Modack he heard Gallie refer to Modack as ‘Pablo’.

Gallie aka ‘Gustavo’ was arrested with Modack several years ago on gun-related charges in Johannesburg.

The cop said while he never met with Modack he was in contact with him via a cellphone and told the court that he had traced Mr C, but after his arrest they were informed that he could not be detained but did not detail the reasons why.

Meanwhile, an American software developer who developed the software allegedly used by Modack’s co-accused, Zane Killian, to ping cellphones, also took to the stand.

The developer told the court that he had a contract with MTN and the pings were sold to various entities.

He said the contract would allow them to pass through secure communication protocols to obtain the location of cellphones operating on the Vodacom and MTN networks.

The witness explained that each user is assigned a unique username which is used when accessing the platform in the attempt to obtain the GPS coordinates of a cellphone.

This, he explained, was done through accessing information from cellphone towers because when a particular device moved, it would seek out the towers with the best signal.

He further explained that based on signal strength using the software, one could obtain the location of a cellphone “with great accuracy”, as close as 20 to 40 metres.

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