Eight suspects in court after abalone bust near Robben Island
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Cape Town - Eight abalone poaching suspects are to appear in the Cape Town Magistrates Court today after they were arrested near Robben Island in the early hours of Wednesday.
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said they were nabbed during an operation by members attached to Border Police Cape Town Harbour and Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries.
Abalone with an estimated street value R345 000 and a rubber duck valued at R350 000 were seized, he said.
“On Tuesday, 2021/07/06 at about 10pm the members started with random vessel patrols in the bay and around Robben Island during dark moon and calm sea conditions. Around 2am, a vessel was detected close to Robben Island, pursued and brought to a halt.
Upon closer investigation it was found that the vessel was carrying persons in diving gear and in possession of bags of abalone on-board the vessel. The suspects were arrested and taken to Cape Town Harbour for processing. A total of eight males from Hawston and Hout Bay aged between 25 and 32 were arrested,” Van Wyk said.
The 920 shucked abalone with an estimated street value of R345 000, and their boat, a 7m rubber duck were confiscated.
“The suspects are due to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on charges relating to the Living Marine Resources Act, National Environmental Management: Protection Areas Act, and the Disaster Management Act: Not confined to residence during Lockdown Level 4 regulation hours,” Van Wyk said.