Abalone poacher fined R50 000 for R2.4 million haul
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Cape Town - The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has joined the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in welcoming the sentencing of a 49-year-old man for the illegal possession and transportation of abalone valued at R2.4 million.
Moegamat Amien Fakier was sentenced to a fine of R50 000 or two years’ imprisonment when he appeared in the Khayelitsha Priority Court on Thursday last week.
The department said it welcomed the sentence meted out to Fakier for his role in the illegal scheme.
Spokesperson Albie Modise said: “We have to use all our legal and legislative at our disposal to send a strong message to poachers and would-be poachers that no one will be allowed to disregard our environmental laws. We cannot allow people to plunder our marine resources hoping to get away without any punishment.”
Fakier’s sentencing comes years after his arrest in 2017 in Philippi, as a result of an investigation by the Hawks serious organised crime investigation team in conjunction with Crime Intelligence, K9 unit and officials from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries who on August 14, 2017 reacted to information about a vehicle transporting abalone illegally.
According to the Hawks, the joint team spotted a truck matching the description and followed it until it stopped at a house in Chilli Street in Philippi.
Spokesperson Zinzi Hani said: “Dried abalone packed in boxes was uncovered at the back of the truck when police searched the vehicle. Two occupants were immediately arrested and the abalone seized. However, the other person was later cleared on all charges and released.
“Fakier tendered a guilty plea for two charges, which include possession and transporting 483kg of dried abalone worth R2.4m,” she said.
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation acting provincial head Mushavhaduvha Ramovha welcomed the sentence, saying that abalone poaching caused considerable damage to the country’s marine resources.