Suspects escape after police find abalone worth R4.5m on Western Cape farm

2018-07-21 11:51
Abalone. (Supplied: SAPS)

Abalone. (Supplied: SAPS)

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Abalone worth R4.5m has been seized on a farm in Philadelphia, Western Cape police said on Saturday.

Members of the Maitland Flying Squad made the bust after following up on information received in a separate case, spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said.

"The [Philadelphia] premises were searched which resulted in the discovery of abalone valued at R4.5 million and equipment to process abalone for export purposes. The suspects managed to evade arrest and are being sought," he confirmed.

Ealier in the day, another haul was made in Brooklyn when members of the police's K9 Unit acted on a tip-off of abalone being transported to Cape Town.

"At about 10:30 they noticed a SUV vehicle reversing into a garage of a residence in Diep Street. The members entered the garage and found bags containing fresh shucked abalone in the vehicle," Traut said.

"They proceeded to search the residence and discovered more bags of shucked abalone in a bedroom and also a chest freezer containing the same. In total 8 266 units of shucked abalone were seized."

The contraband was yet to be weighed to determine its value, although Traut said it is estimated to be a "substantial amount".

"R9 000 in cash and 12 cellphones were also seized. Four suspects aged between29 to 42 were arrested and are due to appear in Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges relating to the Living Marine Resources Act."

Three suspects are also expected in the Parow Magistrate's Court on Monday after "a large quantity" of abalone was confiscated from a house in Panorama.

Traut said members of the Flying Squad reacted to a tip-off and searched a property in Rembrandt Street on Friday afternoon and found the contraband.

"The value of the abalone is yet to be determined by the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries." Three suspects - two men aged 50 and 39 and a 36-year-old woman - were arrested.


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