Abalone worth R17m seized

2015-10-20 06:00
A large amount of abalone was found on a property in Philippi on Tuesday last week after the police followed a suspicious bakkie to the premises.

A large amount of abalone was found on a property in Philippi on Tuesday last week after the police followed a suspicious bakkie to the premises.

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The Philippi police seized R17m worth of abalone on Tuesday last week.

Philippi police spokesperson Lieutenant Lance Goliath says members of the crime prevention unit noticed a suspicious Ford Bantam bakkie in the horticultural part of Philippi at about 17:55.

“Members followed the bakkie until it turned into premises on the corner of Schaapkraal and Boom roads. The driver of the bakkie fled the scene on foot,” Goliath says.

Upon closer inspection the police members discovered a few abalone hidden in the back of the bakkie. Both the bakkie and abalone were seized.

“The members decided to conduct their own investigation on the premises where the bakkie was driven to. It is here where members discovered a very large quantity of abalone packed on shelves in different rooms, where it was in the process of being dried,” Goliath says. A large quantity of freshly unshelled abalone was also found in a bath tub.

The large quantity of abalone is estimated to have a street value of R17m.

Equipment, including large commercial gas tanks, shelving and large steel tubs, was also confiscated.

Goliath says it took members of the department of environmental affairs the whole night until the late morning hours of Wednesday to count and bag the abalone.

The forensic unit as well as the local criminal record centre and special investigation unit of the police also attended to the crime scene.

Police are investigating a case of dealing in abalone and urge members of the public to come forward if they have any information.

Philippi police station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Desmond Laing says they will continue clamping down on crime and the perpetrators thereof.

“Police will maintain their zero-tolerance approach in the combatting and investigation of crime.”

Anyone with information on crime can call the police on 021 695 1500 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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