Cops crack down on abalone poaching

Cape Argus, Staff Reporter

Police are turning up the heat on abalone poaching in the province.

Over the weekend police made several arrests in areas around Cape Town.

On Friday police from the Cape Town K9 unit responded to information of abalone being transported to Cape Town and conducted patrols in Brooklyn.

At 10.30am they noticed an SUV vehicle reversing into a garage of a residence in Die Street. Police entered the garage and found bags containing fresh shucked abalone in the vehicle.

They discovered more bags of shucked abalone in a bedroom and chest freezer.

In total 8 266 units of shucked abalone were seized. It is yet to be weighed to determine the value, which is estimated at a substantial amount.

R9 000 in cash and 12 cellphones were also seized.

Four suspects aged between 29 and 42 were arrested. They are expected to appear in Cape Town Magistrate’s Court today on charges relating to the Living Marine Resources Act.

On Saturday night police of Maitland Flying Squad followed up information after arrests on Friday morning for abalone which led them to a farm in Philadelphia. A search revealed abalone valued at R4.5 millions, and equipment to process abalone for export. The suspects managed to flee and are being sought.

In Panorama three suspects – two men aged 50 and 39, and a woman aged 36 – were arrested over another abalone raid.