Abalone with a street value of about R3.8-million was seized on Thursday at a farm warehouse in Philadelphia, north of Cape Town, police said.
Three Zimbabweans and a Mozambican were arrested after police responded to a tip-off about alleged abalone smuggling, Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said.
Police searched a store on the farm and discovered three rooms in which the abalone was in the process of being dried, Kinana said.
They confiscated 36 340 units of abalone, weighing 2.7 tons.
“Various equipment, including a large stainless steel cooking pot, burners, fans, gas cylinders and drying shelves were seized in the process,” he said.
The men, aged between 26 and 37, were expected to appear in the Atlantis Magistrate's Court soon. - Sapa