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Man ordered to pay R100 000 fine after being caught with abalone in his boot

Picture of the accused Ping Wei.

Ping Wei was ordered to pay a fine after he was found guilty of operating a fishing establishment without a licence. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 1, 2023


Durban - A 35-year-old man found guilty of operating a fishing establishment without a licence has been ordered to pay a R100 000 fine.

Ping Wei was convicted and sentenced by the Gqeberha New Law Regional Court this week.

In addition he was also convicted on money laundering.

According to the Eastern Cape Hawks, on July 28, 2021, members from Public Order Policing received information that three vehicles were possibly transporting abalone from East London to Gqeberha.

The vehicles were identified as a Toyota Avanza and an Audi.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said members proceeded to the R72 in the direction of Gqeberha but could not locate any of the vehicles described.

“As they proceeded further on the road towards Gqeberha, they informed Kinkelbos SAPS to be on the lookout for these two vehicles.

“The Toyota Avanza was stopped at Colchester near Gqeberha and searched. Abalone contained in a pink plastic bag was found inside the Avanza.

“The driver of the Avanza indicated that he was hired to transport the cargo as instructed by the owner of the Audi who happened to be Wei and was therefore set off the hook and the abalone was confiscated.”

Mgolodela said the police found the Audi in a parking area in Walmer.

“Wei was found seated in the driver’s seat and the police found bags of abalone in the boot after searching the vehicle with permission.

“Wei was arrested and the abalone confiscated. In the vehicle, the members also found keys and two sets of remote control devices which led them to an addresses in complexes in Walmer Downs, Gqeberha.”

According to Mgolodela, Wei was given a two-year imprisonment sentence which was suspended for five years on condition he did commit the same offence of money laundering and operating a fishing establishment without a licence again.

“He was further given another two-years imprisonment suspended for five years provided he did not engage in illegal operation of a fishing establishment during the period of suspension.”

Wei was ordered to pay a fine of R100 000 to the Criminal Asset Recovery Account on the day he was sentenced.

Major-General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya the provincial head said they hoped the sentence would deter crimes violating economic protected resources laws.