Organised crime unit investigating R5m abalone haul on Intercape bus

2016-04-07 21:15
(Picture: City of Cape Town)

(Picture: City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town - The police’s organised crime unit is investigating an abalone haul, now confirmed to be worth R5m, which was found on an Intercape bus when an anonymous tip-off led to a raid at the Cape Town station bus terminal on Wednesday.

Fifty boxes of abalone, weighing about 1 000kg, were discovered on the bus bound for Pretoria when the City of Cape Town's Marine Unit acted on the information.

Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said no suspects had been found on the scene and no arrests had yet been made.

The contraband was handed over to the Sea Border Policing Unit, he confirmed.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, to whom the tip-off was directed, alleged it was known that "poached marine goods are exchanged for drugs and one must wonder how much drugs and guns have been transported into Cape Town smuggled in the bottom of these buses".

He called for the police and the Hawks to investigate Intercape and its owners.

But the company in a statement said it was "apparent that Mr Smith may have reacted in haste before the facts were determined".

Intercape said it was because of its swift action that the bust was carried out.

The company said it had various crime prevention measures in place, including personnel training, an internal investigation unit comprising former police members, sniffer dogs and a tip-off line for members of the public to report crime.

"We will continue in our efforts to prevent our services and vehicles from being used for any criminal purposes. We will also call on the support in such efforts from the City of Cape Town with a view on improving infrastructural security measures at Cape Town station, which could further assist in the fight against crime," the statement reads.

The company said it would further assist and cooperate with the authorities in their further investigations and condemned the use of its vehicles for criminal purposes.

Smith, however, maintained that the haul was too big for it not to have been noticed.

"If anyone in that company should be found to have been involved, there should be repercussions," he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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