The continuous endeavours of SAPS in the Western Cape to tackle the lucrative illegal abalone trade in the province, and to break the back of the smuggling syndicates, have paid off again with significant successes during this week.
A suspect was stopped in his tracks on Tuesday 10 October, at about 23:00 in Sarel Cilliers Road in Napier, when police members on night shift spotted a white Nissan Tida motor vehicle coming through the town at a high speed. They followed the vehicle and tried to stop the driver, but he chased away.
During the chase the driver lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle collided with a wall. The police then retrieved 1313 units of abalone from the vehicle and arrested a 29 year old man. The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment of head injuries, which he sustained during the collision with the wall.
A case docket with the following charges was opened: 1. Reckless/Negligent Driving and 2. Possession of Abalone. The estimated street value of the abalone seized is between R350 000 and R400 000.
During another incident on Wednesday 11 October 2017 at 23:00, Cape Town Marine Law Enforcement received a complaint of persons diving for abalone at Melkbosstrand. Members of the SA Police Service, City of Cape Town Law Enforcement, along with Sanparks, responded to the complaint. Surveillance was set up and at 02:00 a white Nissan Almera motor vehicle appeared. What looked like six plastic bags containing abalone were picked up. Police members attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver sped off. The police members gave chase and the driver drove in a northerly on the N7, in the direction of Malmesbury. The driver diverted onto the road leading to Chatsworth. In Chatsworth the police members lost sight of the vehicle. They regrouped and after an intensive search they found the vehicle, which had been abandoned with its loot. The six plastic bags containing abalone were retrieved. No arrests have been made yet, but the investigation is ongoing. The vehicle has also been seized. The estimated street value of the abalone is R650 000.
In an unrelated incident, yesterday, Thursday 12 October 2017, at about 15:00, members of K9 and DAFF received a tip-off and searched a premises situated at De Grendel Villas, De Grendel, Parow North. At the premises members found three boxes containing 598 units of dried abalone in the back of a white BMW X5. Inside the premises approximately 6439 units of wet abalone, weighing about 500kg, were found. The estimated street value of the abalone confiscated is R900 000. A 30 year old suspect was arrested for possession of abalone. The suspect is due to appear in the Bellville Magistrate’ s Court today, Friday 13 October 2017, on a charge related to the illegal possession of abalone.
The SAPS in the Western Cape will continue its fight against the plundering of our scarce marine resources by criminals with vigour.