Cape Town – Abalone worth several million rand has been confiscated in Cape Town, in two separate busts, resulting in the arrests of six suspects.
The first bust took place at a farm on Bottelary Road in Brackenfell, when police responded to a tip-off at 19:00 on Monday night.
"The seizure at the crime scene comprised 6 878 units of fresh abalone, 24 922 units of dry abalone and equipment used for the processing of abalone," police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut confirmed.
Two suspects – aged 43 and 46 – were arrested for operating an illegal abalone processing facility.
Half an hour later, officers acting on information stopped and searched a cold storage truck in Montague Gardens.
"This search led to the discovery of 213 bags of frozen abalone with an approximate weight of five tons," Traut said.
A 23-year-old woman and three men – aged 24, 26 and 37 – were arrested for abalone possession and the truck was confiscated.
"The exact value of the abalone confiscated during the two operations is yet to be determined, however it is estimated at several million rand, and deemed a significant blow to the illegal abalone trade in this province," Traut said.
"We will not allow criminals to strip the marine resources of the Western Cape, and we will continue with our intelligence driven operations to fight the scourge."
The suspects in the Brackenfell bust are expected in the Kuils River Magistrate's Court once charged, while the four nabbed in Montague Gardens will appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.