Man held for abalone possession

Cape Town - A 51-year-old man found in possession of abalone with a value of around R360 000 has been arrested in Beaufort West, Western Cape police said on Wednesday.

Captain Malcolm Pojie said the man was arrested on Monday.

Police patrolling the N1 near Beaufort West pulled over a grey Nissan X-Trail for a routine check just outside the town. Inside the vehicle they found 26 bags containing 1703 abalone weighing 300kg.

The abalone was handed to the fisheries department for safekeeping.

The man was expected to appear in the Beaufort West Magistrate's Court on Thursday on a charge of illegal abalone possession.

Abalone fishing in South Africa was banned in 2008 in a bid to protect the shellfish from extinction. - Sapa