Explosion at Cape Town house uncovers alleged perlemoen processing plant

2018-02-08 15:26
Perlemoen. (File, Beeld)

Perlemoen. (File, Beeld)

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Cape Town - An explosion at a house in Maitland, Cape Town on Wednesday morning resulted in the discovery of an illegal abalone (perlemoen) processing facility, Western Cape police have confirmed.

A drying room was found at the back of a house in Hely Street when officers responded to the explosion at 06:50, police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said.

Numerous shelves of abalone, a gas cylinder and a fan was discovered in one room, while another contained a large number of containers filled with shucked abalone.

Van Wyk said the equipment, which also included burners, scales and bags of salt, would be seized.

"The buildings were extensively damaged by the explosion. Two neighbouring houses were also damaged."

READ: Companies created to smuggle perlemoen out of SA as 'pilchards', court finds

One person was admitted to hospital with severe burn wounds and another fled the scene, Van Wyk said.

A 33-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman were arrested.

"The exact value of the abalone confiscated is yet to be determined. However, it is valued at a substantial amount," Van Wyk said.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on charges relating to the Marine Living Resources Act once they have been charged.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  poaching  |  crime

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