Panic alarm leads to discovery of R6.6m perlemoen processing plant

A R6.6 million perlemoen processing plant in Edgemead was discovery. Picture: Supplied

A R6.6 million perlemoen processing plant in Edgemead was discovery. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 5, 2023

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Cape Town - A panic alarm triggered by a concerned resident led to the discovery of a R6.6 million perlemoen processing plant in Edgemead during the early hours on Monday.

Neal De Witt from Precinct Response said a response officer got more than he bargained for when a resident reported that someone had jumped into their yard and needed help.

“An officer from Precinct Response received a panic alert from their client who also called and explained that a person had jumped into their yard and they thought it was an attempted break-in. Precinct Response along with Bothasig SAPS responded swiftly and apprehended a Chinese national who had fled from the property.”

De Witt explained that it appeared that police officers had passed the house in Robertson Way and the two suspects allegedly got spooked causing one of the men to jump into his neighbour’s yard.

“We noticed a Toyota Fortuner idling in the garage at the house next door which was slightly open and I went to check assuming it was an attempted suicide. I entered the garage to investigate and the vehicle was empty.

“When I got to the front of the vehicle, I could see inside the house and immediately noticed it was an illegal abalone factory. I relaid details back to SAPS, who came through, and we assisted SAPS in clearing the property. A second individual was apprehended on scene in a bedroom.”

He said the house was filled with baths of abalone and the stench was overwhelming.

“You could see the baths all over and the stench was bad. The neighbours had never noticed anything peculiar before but I reckon they had a stash worth millions in there. The investigation continues,” added De Witt.

Police spokesperson, Joseph Swartbooi, said the perlemoen is worth R6.6m.

“Bothasig police responded to a complaint of house breaking in the early hours of Monday. Upon their arrival in Barkley Way, Edgemead they noticed a suspect who fled the scene. The police gave chase and arrested two males.

“Their investigation led to a premises in Robertson Way where they found abalone. They detained the two males on a charge of possession of abalone. Once charged the suspects are expected to make a court appearance in The Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on the mentioned charge.”

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