State awaits cellphone records in case of alleged perlemoen poaching syndicate

2018-07-25 15:58
Perlemoen, or abalone, confiscated from a home in Cape Town. (Supplied: SAPS)

Perlemoen, or abalone, confiscated from a home in Cape Town. (Supplied: SAPS)

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The investigation into an alleged perlemoen poaching syndicate has almost been finalised, as the State awaits detailed cellphone records, the Cape Town Regional Court heard on Wednesday.

Plea bargains were also a possibility and some accused could testify on behalf of the State in terms of Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act, State advocate Blaine Lazarus said.

ALSO READ: Suspected key figures in major perlemoen poaching syndicate released on bail

Nineteen people, including nine marine inspectors from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), were arrested in March.

It is alleged that department officials sold confiscated perlemoen back to others, who were also taken into custody on suspicion of being part of the syndicate.

Corruption and racketeering

The officials also allegedly escorted illegal consignments of perlemoen.

The charges against them include corruption and racketeering.

Lazarus said on Wednesday that police had arrested one more person in connection with the case, who was applying for bail in another court.

ALSO READ: Explosion at Cape Town house uncovers alleged perlemoen processing plant

The court also received a death certificate for another accused and withdrew charges in that respect.

The alleged syndicate is believed to have operated in Gansbaai, Hermanus, Hawston, Bredasdorp, Stanford, Pearly Beach and Kuils River.

The accused are expected back in court on August 29 and the case could be transferred to the Western Cape High Court.

Read more on:    cape town  |  corruption  |  poaching  |  crime

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