Alleged abalone kingpin, co-accused appear in court
Port Elizabeth - A photo of alleged perlemoen kingpin Julian Brown - who denies heading up a multimillion rand perlemoen enterprise - stirring a huge pot of abalone surfaced on Facebook on Wednesday, as he appeared in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
In the photo, Brown is seen stirring a huge pot containing abalone at a property in Bluewater Bay. The archived photo surfaced on a secret Facebook group, Help Stop Abalone Poaching (HSAPPE) and the authenticity was confirmed by a reliable source close to the investigation.
Brown a high school drop out from Jeffrey's Bay, is accused of heading the enterprise alongside Eugene "Boesman" Victor and Brandon Turner, allegedly his right-hand men.
The trio face a string of charges, the most serious of which is racketeering. Brown faces an additional charge of money laundering in relation to the purchase of a luxury Ferrari vehicle.
Their trial got underway earlier this month and the men pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Brown had earlier denied that he had anything to do with a abalone syndicate and claimed he made his money from scrap metal and the sale of second-hand cars before registering his construction business, J&B Construction.
A string of associates who allegedly helped Brown build up the abalone enterprise, lining their own pockets in the process, have since testified in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
On Wednesday, Section 204 witness Edgar Clulow, 26, took to the stand and testified how Brown went about roping him into the business.
Clulow, who did mechanical and building work, explained how he had helped his dad out with renovations at Brown's grandmother's house when Brown contacted him shortly afterwards.
"Julian contacted me on my cell and I thought he was going to ask me to do something at his grandmother's house...but he requested me to meet him at a Sasol Garage in Sidwell," Clulow said.
"When I got there he [Julian] said he would put petrol in my bakkie, he then asked me to go weigh abalone for him in Schauderville."
Clulow, who is a father of three young children, said that Brown gave him blue Chokka bags, a scale and instructed him to follow him to a house in the city's northern areas.
"Brown was driving up and down in the street to ensure that the police were not around," Clulow said.
Clulow testified that he was then instructed by Brown to take the abalone to a nearby KFC where a white golf would collect the package.
He detailed similar operations which took place in Westering, Bluewater Bay and Forest Hill, further implicating Turner as the driver of the white pick up vehicle used in the operations.
Since 2008, Clulow has been arrested several times on charges of illegal possession of abalone.
In his latest run-in with the law, Clulow was arrested during 2015 at his house in Sherwood, the State alleges that the abalone in his possession at the time belonged to Brown's enterprise.
Clulow pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and entered into a plea agreement with the State.
He received a suspended sentence and has since relocated to Cradock in attempt to start a new life.
The trial continues.African News Agency