CAPE TOWN - Three men believed to be part of alleged illegal abalone operation appeared at the Somerset West Magistrate’s Court near Cape Town on Friday.

According to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Shen Hongyu, 43, Tu Dugn, 27, and Ibrahem Alnaimat, 33, were arrested on Wednesday at a Wine Farm in Somerset during an intelligence-driven operation.  

“The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation and officials from the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (Daff) conducted a joint search and seizure operation on an alleged illegal abalone laboratory,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase in a statement.

“They managed to seize dried and wet abalone worth over R2.5 million, as well as equipment, two vehicles and an undisclosed amount of cash.”

 Alnaimat was released on R150,000 bail while Hongyu and Dugn were remanded. The case against the trio was postponed to August 17 pending further investigations.

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- African News Agency (ANA)