R2.4m abalone seized in Cape Town raid
Two people were arrested on Monday for allegedly smuggling half a ton of abalone in Cape Town.
Law enforcement agencies were following up on information that the endangered molluscs were being transported from Chilli Street in Philippi to an unknown location‚ presumably to be exported.
The Hawks‚ the police dog unit and Department of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries officials teams swooped on the suspected smugglers’ hideout in Philippi as they were about to depart with the abalone in a vehicle.
“Upon pulling off the said vehicle‚ dried abalone sealed in boxes weighing 483kg‚ valued at approximately R2.4-million‚ was recovered‚” said Hawks spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha.
“The suspects‚ aged 44 and 45‚ are expected to appear before the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on [Wednesday] to face charges of contravening the Marine Living Resources Act.”
According to police reports‚ a firearm was confiscated inside the alleged smugglers’ house.