Joburg-bound man arrested for attempting to smuggle dried abalone from Mozambique
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Pretoria - A 39-year-old man will on Friday appear before the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court charged with illegal possession of abalone seized at the Lebombo port of entry linking South Africa and Mozambique.
Spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Captain Lloyd Ramovha, said the Johannesburg-bound man was arrested on Wednesday.
“It is reported that at about 10.50am the suspect was driving a minibus with a trailer into South Africa from Mozambique on his way to Johannesburg. On inspection of the load, customs officials noticed that he did not declare all the goods loaded in the vehicle, prompting a search by the officials,” said Ramovha.
The search uncovered 21 boxes with concealed dry abalone valued at just over R1 million.
“The Nelspruit Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team was summoned on the scene and swiftly charged the suspect for contravention of the Living Resource Marine Act. The team also seized the vehicle and the trailer as it is deemed to have been used in the commission of crime,” said Ramovha.
Meanwhile, in a separate and unrelated case a Hawks’ team from Secunda, accompanied by dog unit and trio task team, conducted a search and seizure operation at Freedom Square at Emzinoni which resulted in a 27-year-old suspect being arrested for alleged drug dealing.
“The search of the dwelling uncovered a batch of narcotics which included black tar heroin, rock, cocaine, crystal meth and dagga all valued at approximately R30 000. The detained suspect is expected to appear in the Bethal Magistrate’s Court today [Thursday],” said Ramovha.