Abalone ‘poacher’ shot after chase

2018-07-26 06:00
Two officials of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries count the abalone confiscated on the N2 near Lwandle on Thursday morning.PHOTO: mzwanele mkalipi

Two officials of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries count the abalone confiscated on the N2 near Lwandle on Thursday morning.PHOTO: mzwanele mkalipi

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A 24-year-old man has appeared in Strand Magistrate’s Court after he was found in possession of abaloned valued at R800 000 on Wednesday 18 July.

According to Lwandle police spokesperson, officers of Gordon’s Bay police were on patrol when they noticed a suspicious vehicle with tinted windows on the N2 at 22:52. The officers followed the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle started speeding and passed through red traffic lights, almost causing an accident.

“Police continued chasing the vehicle until it stopped at Asla Business Park,” Gama said. “After stopping, the driver jumped from the vehicle and approached the police with an unknown object on his hand.

Gama said the officers fired a shot at the man, who was wounded in his right leg. “On searching the white Toyota Hilux, numerous bags of abalone were found in the back of the vehicle,” Gama said.

A Zwelihle resident was arrested and detained at Lwandle Police Station, where the shucked abalone was counted by officials of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries the following day.

A total of 5 104 units were recovered. “It is still to be weighed to determine the exact value, but is estimated around R800 000,” Gama related.

The suspect appeared in the Strand Magistrate’s Court on charges relating to the illegal possession and transporting of abalone. The outcome of the court appearance was not known.

The protection of marine resources is high on the agenda of the police and its partners, Gama reiterated. Herequested the community’s assistance in preventing these products from ending up on the illegal market.

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