Ricochet News

Abalone valued at several million rand confiscated in two police operations

JULY 11, 2017
Abalone valued at several million rand confiscated in two police operations

Efforts by the SAPS to tackle the lucrative illegal abalone trade in the Western Cape and to break the back of the smuggling syndicates have paid off with two significant successes on Monday night.

"At about 19:00, information was operationalized and led various police units to a farm on the Bottelary Road, Brackenfell where two suspects, aged 43 and 46, were arrested for operating an illegal abalone processing facility," described police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut.

"The seizure at the crime scene comprised 6 878 units of fresh abalone, 24 922 units of dry abalone and equipment used for the processing of abalone."

He said that not far from there in Milnerton, at around 19:30, police officers reacted to information and apprehended a cold storage truck in Montagu Gardens, which was searched.

"This search led to the discovery of 213 bags of frozen abalone with an approximate weight of five ton.

"Four suspects, a 23-year-old female and three males aged 24, 26 and 37, were arrested for the illegal possession of abalone," Lieutenant Colonel Traut said.

The truck was also confiscated.

He said that the exact value of the abalone confiscated during the two operations is yet to be determined, however it is estimated at several million rand and deemed a significant blow to the illegal abalone trade in this province.

"We will not allow criminals to strip the marine resources of the Western Cape, and we will continue with our intelligence driven operations to fight the scourge," he added.      

"Once charged, the suspects are due to make a court appearance in Kuilsrivier and Cape Town respectively."