Abalone worth several million rand was seized in two police raids in Cape Town on Monday night.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut said two men in their 40s were arrested at an illegal processing facility on a farm in Bottelary Road‚ Brackenfell.
“The seizure comprised 6‚878 units of fresh abalone‚ 24‚922 units of dry abalone and equipment used for the processing of abalone‚” he said.
Half an hour later‚ police pulled over a cold storage truck in Montague Gardens and found five tons of frozen abalone in 213 bags.
“Four suspects — a 23-year-old female and three males aged 24‚ 26 and 37 — were arrested for the illegal possession of abalone. The truck was also confiscated‚” said Traut.
“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.
“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.”