Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Police have arrested two people after they discovered abalone worth R3 million in their car, wrecked in a crash outside Riviersonderend yesterday.
In five other incidents in the past week alone, officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have arrested seven men and confiscated 26 429 abalone.
This week was the best to date in the department’s “continuous campaign to protect our marine resources, and arrest anyone who is involved in the illegal harvesting, processing, trade and transporting of our valuable resources”, spokesman Lionel Adendorf said.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander said yesterday’s accident occurred on the N2 between Riviersonderend and Caledon.
“When police arrived they found a white Nissan Grand Livina overturned on the road. During the search, 19 bags of abalone were found,” he said. A 27-year-old woman and 30-year-old man were arrested while trying to flee the crash site.
The suspects, from Gansbaai and Khayelitsha, will appear in court soon.
Adendorf said the 3 806 abalone seized yesterday after the accident included a mix of under-sized and larger abalone.
Two other occupants of the Nissan Grand Livina escaped in a white VW Polo reportedly driving behind the Nissan at the time of the accident.
“The two suspects who were arrested were found at a nearby riverbank trying to hide some of the abalone, which was also recovered by police and department officials,” he added.
Adendorf commended the fisheries control officers and SAPS for their good work.
At Sunset Beach earlier this week balone estimated to be worth more than R10 million was confiscated by police early today when they swooped on an upmarket house, apparently set up as a processing factory for the sought-after seafood.
Police recovered 2 tons of abalone from rooms in the house, and arrested one person. They are seeking another.
On Thursday last week 10 408 abalone were found in a car outside Stanford. A father and son were arrested.
Thembinkosi Mvimbi and his son Maxolisi appeared at the Hermanus court in a bail application, Adendorf said.