Abalone smuggling 'kingpins' get bail

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(File, SA Police Service)
(File, SA Police Service)

Johannesburg – Two alleged abalone smugglers were granted bail of R100 000 each after appearing in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Hawks spokesperson Loyd Ramovha said Akthar Naeem Cassim, 54, and Ernest Chen, 31, were arrested on Friday during a multi-disciplinary joint operation. 

It began during early hours of Thursday morning, when a 16-ton truck was pulled over near Beaufort West in the Western Cape. Over two tons of dried abalone were found on seven pallets. The truck was linked to a business in Boksburg, on Gauteng’s East Rand.

There they found a further 430.5kg of abalone in a shipping container.

“The two suspects, believed to be heading a transnational abalone smuggling ring, were subsequently arrested,” Ramovha said.

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