Hawks nab abalone syndicate and lab

Abalone (aka Perlemoen) is one of the most highly-prized contraband of all.
Abalone (aka Perlemoen) is one of the most highly-prized contraband of all.
Image: TERRY SHEAN

The Hawks bust three suspects for operating an illegal abalone lab and seized the delicacy worth R2.5-million in Somerset West‚ Western Cape‚ this week.

Shen Hongyu‚ 43‚ Tu Dugn‚ 27 and Ibrahem Abdalla Atieh Alnaimat‚ 33‚ appeared in the Somerset West Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The Hawks and the Department of Agriculture‚ Fisheries and Forestry officials pounced on the trio‚ during a joint operation‚ on a wine farm on Wednesday.

“They managed to seize dried and wet abalone worth over R2.5 million as well as several equipment‚ two vehicles and an undisclosed amount of cash‚” said Hawks spokesman Captain Philani Nkwalase.

“Alnaimat was released on R150‚000 bail while Hongyu and Dugn remain in custody.”

The case was postponed to August 17.

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