Three men have appeared in the Parow Magistrate’s Court following their arrest last week with abalone worth R2.5 million.
They were caught by police dog unit officers and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) agents. This led cops to a warehouse in Huguenot Street, Parow, used as an illegal abalone-processing facility.
According to a police statement, two men were observed
in a “suspicious” Volkswagen Golf, parking off Voortrekker Road.
When officers looked under a blanket covering the car’s back seat, they found plastic bags with wet shucked abalone. More bags were found on the front passenger seat.
The men were questioned, and a while later another man arrived, apparently to collect the abalone.
“In one area (of the warehouse), they recovered a large steel cooking pot, gas cylinders, burners and containers. Alongside it, was a drying room filled with a substantial amount of abalone on shelves, being dried, and in a corner on the ground, there was a large amount of dried abalone,” the police statement said.
In total, 12 295 units of dried abalone and 1 222 units of wet shucked abalone were seized, worth an estimated street value of R2.5 million.
The officers arrested the men, aged 28, 35 and 42, and seized both vehicles.
The suspects appeared in the Parow Magistrate’s Court on Friday February 24, on charges relating to the Living Marine Resources Act, including the illegal possession and transportation of abalone.