Multi-million Rand international abalone syndicate uncovered in PE


Port Elizabeth police have confirmed the arrest of ten suspects believed to be part of one of the biggest abalone-smuggling syndicates in the country.

In a statement, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, said that an extended investigation by the police’s specialised crime unit in the early of hours of Tuesday morning, identified seven addresses around Metro with alleged links to the syndicate operating out of China.

Mulaudzi said police simultaneously carried out raids at several locations, arresting the suspects and confiscating items central to the investigation.

It is believed the syndicate, which operates out of the Eastern Cape and other parts of the country, has made an estimated R500 million although the length of its operation was not mentioned.

The suspects, aged between 19 and 57, are expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of racketeering and abalone smuggling.

Hawks boss, Berning Ntlemeza, has, however, said that more arrests could happen as the investigation continues.