48 suspected abalone poachers arrested in Garden Route swoop
Forty-eight suspected poachers were arrested and 142kg of abalone was confiscated when Garden Route National Park rangers and police swooped on Thursday.
South African National Parks spokesperson Nandi Mgwadlamba said the 48 men were believed to be from Gansbaai in the Western Cape.
For years, Gansbaai has been at the epicentre of the poaching frenzy that has brought abalone to the brink of extinction.
The alleged poachers were arrested between the Keurbooms River in Plettenberg Bay and the Salt River in Nature's Valley, said Mgwadlamba.
SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni thanked the rangers, the Hawks, the police and CapeNature for the arrests.
"Our organisation is part of local policing forums in the Garden Route towns. As a result we are able to fight poaching as a collective," said Mketeni.
The suspects are expected to appear in court on Monday.