Western Cape police turn up the heat on abalone poachers
Western Cape police say their onslaught to break the back of abalone poaching in the province is delivering the desired results with a significant number of arrests and confiscations being affected during the past week.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut said that on Friday members from the Cape Town K9 unit responded to information of abalone being transported to Cape Town and conducted patrols in Brooklyn.
“At about 10.30am they noticed a SUV vehicle reversing into a garage of a residence in Diep Street. The members entered the garage and found bags containing fresh shucked abalone in the vehicle.
“They proceeded to search the residence and discovered more bags of shucked abalone in a bedroom and also a chest freezer containing the same‚” said Traut.
In total 8‚266 units of shucked abalone were seized‚ he added.
“It is yet to be weighed to determine the value which is estimated at a substantial amount. R9‚000 in cash and 12 cellular phones were also seized. Four suspects aged between 29 to 42 were arrested and they are due to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges relating to the Living Marine Resources Act.”
In another incident on Friday night‚ members of Maitland Flying Squad followed up information after arrests were made earlier in the day for abalone which led them to a farm in the Philadelphia area.
“The premises were searched which resulted in the discovery of abalone valued at R4.5-million‚ and equipment to process abalone for export purposes. The suspects managed to evade arrest and are being sought‚” Traut said. The provincial police commissioner for the Western Cape‚ Lieutenant-General KE Jula warned criminals that police would stop at nothing to reduce the levels of crime in the province.