It was the other side of midnight when an alert policeman on patrol in Paarl spotted two men casually driving along in a heavily laden van with R60 000 worth of KWV brandy.

Inspector Jan Burden, of the Paarl Dog Unit was travelling through the central business district at 2am when he spotted the vehicle carrying 66 cases of KWV 10-Year-Old Brandy.

He tried to pull the van over, but the driver and his passenger, a KWV employee, sped away, swerving across the road. He radioed for assistance and about five kilometres later the vehicle was forced from the road and the men arrested.

The police investigation led to the arrest of a security guard who has been working at KWV's 22-hectare production facility for the past two years. The three men have been charged with the theft of the alcohol.