Cops make R7 million abalone bust in Cape Town

Abalone Source: Google Images

Members of the police arrested two suspects with abalone worth R7 million in Milnerton, Cape Town.

In a statement released on Thursday, provincial police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said an intelligence operation was conducted by members attached to the National Intervention Unit and Crime Intelligence on Wednesday.

He said two suspects, foreign nationals aged 29 and 45, were found to be in the possession of shucked abalone.

Van Wyk said at about 2pm, officers reacted to information received about abalone stored in a basement at an apartment complex in Century City in the Milnerton area.

“On arrival, members found three vehicles loaded with abalone in plastic bags. They seized the three vehicles with 23 000 units of abalone.”

Van Wyk added that the shucked abalone was handed over to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF).

The suspects are set to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court once they have been charged.

On Tuesday, members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) seized abalone worth more than R8 million from a storage facility in Cape Town.

Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said the unit’s Serious Organised Crime investigation team in conjunction with Crime Intelligence and officials from DEFF raided the storage facility on Tuesday.

She said the joint team conducted a search-and-seizure operation where they uncovered the illegal abalone facility in Manhattan Street, Airport Industria.

Hani said while no one was found at the storage facility at the time of the operation, arrests were imminent and the investigation was ongoing.