abalone poaching cape town

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Abalone worth R2 million seized in Cradock, one suspect escaped after high-speed chase

The police arrested a suspect for possession of abalone in Cradock. The suspect’s accomplice escaped but left behind a ton of frozen abalone.

abalone poaching cape town

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The police in the Eastern Cape seized a ton of abalone on Wednesday, 13 October. The goods were being transported in two bakkies. A single suspect was arrested after their vehicle was brought to a halt and searched, however, the other vehicle was found abandoned, along with its load. The confiscated goods have an estimated street value of at least R2 million.


South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Captain Lariane Jonker said members of the Cradock Crime Prevention Unit spotted two suspicious bakkies travelling as a convoy through Cradock on Wednesday.

“After a white Ford Ranger bakkie was stopped and searched in Cradock, 783 kilograms of freezed abalone was discovered and a 37-year-old male was arrested,” said Jonker.

According to the police, the other bakkie sped off in the direction of Hofmeyr and a high-speed chase ensued. Eventually, the vehicle was found abandoned in Hofmeyr. The vehicle was locked but its load – frozen de-shelled abalone – was found in the bakkie.

The police spokesperson said the contraband weighed approximately one ton. In total, the seized abalone is worth approximately R2 million.

“The abalone was handed over to Gqeberha’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The two vehicles have also been seized pending further investigations,” said Jonker.

The arrested suspect is expected to appear before the Cradock Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 15 October, on charges related to the possession of abalone.