Abalone worth R4.8m seized in Milnerton police raid

2019-02-02 18:04


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Western Cape police seized yet another stash of abalone, this time stocks worth R4.8m hidden in a house in Milnerton, a spokesperson said on Saturday.

Two foreign nationals were arrested during the swoop in Ashton Street on Friday night as police continue a crack down abalone poaching. 

A 25-year-old and 34-year-old were arrested and will appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday. 

Police also found abalone processing equipment such as shelves, fans, and gas cylinders. 

Abalaone is a mollusc found in a big shell, and is known as perlemoen in South Africa. It is harvested wild from the sea, or grown at licensed abalone farms.

Cracking down on poaching of the delicacy, which is often dried to reduce its weight for export, has been at the centre of a Department of a Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) disciplinary hearing held in Cape Town recently. 

A finance director, Nazima Parker, at the fisheries office in Cape Town faced misconduct charges over an alleged swop out of fresh confiscated stocks, for rotten stock from an evidence warehouse.

Illegal stock is confiscated frequently, and is auctioned off with a percentage of the money going to DAFF to counter poaching.

Parker pleaded not guilty at her disciplinary hearing and although she left it carried on without her.

As the disciplinary wound down in January, DAFF Minister Senzeni Zokwana launched a sudden court application to force the director-general, Mike Mlengana, to stop the disciplinary hearing. 

This was on the grounds that a classified document might be made public, and that law enforcement officials were still busy with their own probe into that and fishing rights allocations. The Public Protector is also investigating a complaint related to the matter.

That application was postponed to February 8 in the Western Cape High Court. 

During the brief application in January, the court heard that two other officials are to have their disciplinary hearings in March. 

Traut said that provincial police commissioner of the Western Cape, Lieutenant-General Khominkosi, commended his members for the outcome of their intervention to fight the scourge of abalone poaching, and by ensuring that offenders are brought to book.

Read more on:    cape town  |  poaching

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