WESTERN CAPE – Two suspects aged 28 and 35 are due to appear in the Atlantis Magistrates’ Court on 19 May 2021 where they will face a charge of possession and transporting of illegal abalone in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998.

The duo was arrested yesterday, 17 May 2021 after members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Crime Intelligence and officials from the Department of Environmental Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) reacted on information concerning the transportation of illegal abalone.

During the operation the members identified a white Hino truck as well as a white Audi driving on the N7 highway direction in Malmesbury. The members stopped both vehicles on the N7 at a service station in Philadelphia, the Hino truck which was driven by a Zimbabwean national whilst the Audi was driven by a Chinese national.

Both vehicles were then inspected and dried abalone was found in a hidden compartment underneath the Hino truck. The vehicles were then taken to Philadelphia SAPS for further investigation. This revealed a total of 70 boxes containing 23896 dried abalone with an estimated street value of R9.9 million.