Earlier this afternoon a joint operation between members attached to Crime Intelligence and officials from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) was conducted at a business park in Montague Gardens, Cape Town. A white Ford Bantam LDV, allegedly used to transport abalone, left the premises at about 12:00. The vehicle was followed by the members and was pulled over in Montague Drive, Montague Gardens.
Two occupants were in the LDV and were requested to return with the members to the premises at the business park in Montague Gardens. Upon arrival at the premises the one occupant opened the door of the business unit and the members uncovered an illegal abalone drying facility. Numerous plastic containers, gas cylinders and burners, a scale and various other items of equipment were seized. Numerous shelves stacked with dried abalone and plastic containers filled with dried abalone were also recovered.
Officials from DAFF are busy counting the abalone. Further investigations led the investigating team to a residence in Sonstraal, Durbanville where they recovered drying shelves and a small amount of dried abalone. The value of the abalone, estimated at a substantial amount is yet to be determined.
Three suspects aged 23, 29 and 33 were arrested and are due to appear in Cape Town Magistrates Court on charges under the Living Marine Resources Act once charged.
Source: South African Police Service