Three bust for illegal possession of abalone worth R2.5m
Members of Cape Town’s K9 unit and officials of the Department of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) seized abalone worth R2.5 million and arrested three men on Wednesday after investigating a suspicious vehicle.
According to Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana‚ a Volkswagen Golf pulled into a parking baby off Voortrekker Road and two men got out of the with vehicle. When police approached the two men‚ they noticed a blanket covering the back seat.
“Upon searching the vehicle plastic bags containing wet shucked abalone were found under the blanket and in the front passenger side of the vehicle. Upon questioning the men it appeared to be a delivery. A while thereafter a man arrived in a Nissan Almera‚ apparently to collect the abalone.
“A preliminary investigation led the members to a warehouse in Huguenot Street‚ Parow‚ where they discovered an illegal abalone processing facility‚” Rwexana said.
In one area they recovered a large steel cooking pot‚ gas cylinders‚ burners and containers‚ she said.
“Alongside it was a drying room with filled with a substantial amount of abalone on shelves‚ being dried‚ and in a corner on the ground there was a large amount of dried abalone.
“In total‚ 12‚295 units of dried abalone and 1‚222 units of wet shucked abalone were seized‚ worth an estimated street value of R2.5 million‚” she added.
All three men‚ aged 28‚ 35 and 42 years‚ were arrested and both vehicles seized.
Rwexana said the suspects will appear in the Parow Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges under the Living Marine Resources Act‚ including the illegal possession and transportation of abalone.
“SAPS management applaud these large seizures of our living marine resources which are being looted by syndicates.”
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