Abalone worth more than R1 million found in illegal processing facility after gas explosion
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Cape Town – Abalone worth over R1 million rand was discovered at a drying facility in Motherwell after the entire place was gutted due to a gas explosion.
Police responded to the explosion at a house in Ncwazi Street NU 7 in Motherwell. The entire house except one room was gutted due to the explosion.
On further investigation, police found fans, gas bottles and 2227 units of abalone in the house.
The Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit in Kariega are investigating cases of malicious damage to property and in terms of the Marine Living Resource Act, 19 of 1998 – operating an abalone processing establishment without a permit.
The confiscated abalone was taken for storage by the Department of Sea Fisheries.
Nelson Mandela Bay District Commissioner, Brigadier Thandiswa Kupiso, urged residents not to turn a “blind eye” to any suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods instead to report it to the police.
“The operation of illegal activities such as this in residential areas can be detrimental and life threatening to innocent people,” said Kupiso.
“Homeowners renting their properties have the onus of visiting and inspecting their properties from time to time. We will not allow criminals to ply their illegal trade among law abiding citizens.”
No suspects were found on the scene.