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Police bust suspected abalone-smuggling syndicate in Limpopo

Some of the R7m worth of abalone seized by police during a bust in Polokwane on Friday night.
Some of the R7m worth of abalone seized by police during a bust in Polokwane on Friday night.
Image: Supplied by SAPS.

Police have busted a suspected abalone-smuggling syndicate in Limpopo, arresting three people and seizing abalone with an estimated value of R7m.

The bust was made in Polokwane on Friday night in a joint intelligence-driven operation conducted by the Provincial Endangered Species Unit, the Polokwane Crime Intelligence Unit, the Western Cape Provincial Crime Intelligence Unit, the Polokwane K9 Unit and police based at the Polokwane International Airport

“This interception was conducted following information about a grey NP200 Bakkie which was travelling from Polokwane to Beitbridge port of entry.

A motor vehicle matching the same description was then spotted by the members in one of the streets, who pulled over the vehicle to conduct a search,” said police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe

“In the process, 37 boxes containing abalone with the estimated value of R7m were found inside the vehicle and, subsequently, three occupants were arrested. The origin and destination of these suspects and the abalone will be determined by the ongoing police investigations,” Ngoepe added.

The suspects will appear before the Polokwane magistrate’s court soon for possession of an endangered species.

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