Two in court over R173 000 Port Elizabeth abalone bust
Durban - Two men are expected to appear in court after they were allegedly found in possession of illegal abalone, valued at more than R100 000.
Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said three suspicious men were spotted by security officials from Dark Water Ops whilst they were patrolling along the Marine Drive near Humewood, Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Nkwalase said when approached, one of the suspects escaped in a vehicle whist the other two were arrested.
"Two bags full of abalone, worth R173 400, were allegedly found in the area where the trio were spotted. The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in Port Elizabeth has been tasked to further investigate the matter and a possible abalone syndicate operating in the area," he said.
The men, aged 25 and 37, are expected to appear in court on Monday.
The arrest comes just days after two alleged abalone dealers appeared in the Paarl Magistrate's Court on charges of contravention of the Marine Living Resources Act.
At the time, police spokesperson, Colonel Katlego Mogale, said the pair aged 33 and 45, both foreign nationals were apprehended near the N1 Hugenote tunnel in a joint search and seizure operation by members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Crime Intelligence, K9 and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
"The operation was in response to information received that there was a truck transporting abalone along the N1. When the identified truck was stopped, it was found to be laden with bags of onions and potatoes with boxes of dried abalone with an estimated street value of R5.3 million concealed underneath other cargo," Mogale said.IOL