Agliotti: From crook to spy buddy

CityPress - - News - JAC­QUES PAUW jac­ques.pauw@city­press.co.za

Con­victed drug dealer Glenn Agliotti claims he works for the govern­ment, has in­dem­nity from prose­cu­tion and can smug­gle as many cig­a­rettes as he wants.

This has emerged in two record­ings Agliotti made last year at a golf­ing es­tate in Jo­han­nes­burg and in a res­tau­rant.

City Press has the record­ings, which are gen­uine and were le­gally ob­tained.

Agliotti, who fa­mously turned state wit­ness against his for­mer friend, dis­graced for­mer po­lice com­mis­sioner Jackie Selebi, did not re­spond to re­peated re­quests for com­ment.

In the record­ings, Agliotti claims that a se­nior “con­tract agent” from the State Se­cu­rity Agency’s Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit, Ge­orge Dar­manovich, re­cruited him to work on an il­licit cig­a­rette project.

In turn, Agliotti at­tempted last year to re­cruit sev­eral cig­a­rette smugglers to work with him on the project.

The con­ver­sa­tions were caught on tape by the smugglers, who both carry small dig­i­tal tape recorders.

Agliotti: “The govern­ment has asked me to run a smug­gling op­er­a­tion. There is a team in place. There is an un­der­ground op­er­a­tion run­ning in Pre­to­ria. I met with them in [a house in a

The govern­ment has asked me to run a smug­gling op­er­a­tion GLENN AGLIOTTI

Pre­to­ria sub­urb] yes­ter­day. The NIA [Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Agency, the State Se­cu­rity Agency’s do­mes­tic arm]. They are on board. It’s been ap­proved.”

Agliotti told the smugglers that it was a three-year op­er­a­tion and he was closely work­ing with agent Dar­manovich.

“Ge­orge Dar­manovich. He works for na­tional in­tel­li­gence. He is f***ing clever. He is a f***ing ge­nius. He comes to my house. They pay him for all his in­for­ma­tion. He col­lects money. He sells dis­in­for­ma­tion,” he’s heard say­ing.

Agliotti con­tin­ues: “The man­date now from the govern­ment, it’s al­ready set up. In­dem­nity to whomever I tell them. Smug­gle as much as you want.” Smug­gler A: “Why the f**k me?” Agliotti: “Be­cause you are suc­cess­ful. You are in the cig­a­rette game. We gonna make a huge amount of money.”

Smug­gler A: “But that one will be with their bless­ings?”

Agliotti: “SAPS, Hawks, all the way down.”

Smug­gler A: “How many do you have to shuf­fle a week?”

Agliotti: “As much as we want. But I have three years.”

Smug­gler B: “Why did you choose us, Glenn?”

Agliotti: “I’ll rather run with op­er­a­tors. You run it. I’ll give you the pro­tec­tion from the top ... I steal from banks and Sars [SA Rev­enue Ser­vice], but not from my friends.”

The smugglers were at the time un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Sars for tax eva­sion, money laun­der­ing and fraud.

They wanted to know from Agliotti if it was pos­si­ble to bribe Sars group ex­ec­u­tive for en­force­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tions Jo­han van Loggen­berg.

Agliotti: “He seems like a nice guy. And then he will f**k you up.”

It is not known if the cig­a­rette project ever got off the ground.

PHOTO: LAU­REN MUL­LI­GAN

UNTOUCHARLE Au­dio record­ings of Glenn Agliotti sug­gest he be­lieves he is above the law

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