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2021/06/03      |  Written By:  Ms Z Hani   |   Province:  Western Cape

WESTERN CAPE – Bill Ho (52) also known as Wong pleaded guilty on multiple charges linked to operating a clandestine abalone facility. This happened when he appeared at the Khayelitsha Regional Court on Wednesday, 02 June 2021.

He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to  five years imprisonment for two counts of contravening the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998. Additionally a five-year sentence was also handed to him for contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA) and both five-year sentences were wholly suspended for five years with stringent conditions.

A further two-year correctional supervision sentence was imposed on him in terms of Sec 276 (1)(h) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) Act 51 of 1977. The court also ordered that he pays R32 980-00 into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA) and all the abalone and equipment that was seized during a search and seizure be forfeited to the State. Three of his vehicles that had been seized were also signed off and now awaits the pending forfeiture order from the high court.

All this culminated after his arrest on the 13 February 2020 by the multidisciplinary team that included the Western Cape Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Gauteng K9 Unit and DAFF Officials for Western Cape. He was arrested during a search and seizure operation that exposed a syndicate involved in the poaching, buying and selling of illicit abalone in both Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces.

Meanwhile, his co-accused, Solomon Sauls, the kingpin of the group in the Western Cape, pleaded guilty on 09 February 2021,on charges that include POCA and contravention of the Marine living Resources Act  and  is already serving a  sentence of six (6) years direct imprisonment.