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2021/10/13      |  Written By:  Ms Z Hani   |   Province:  Western Cape

WESTERN CAPE - The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team together with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), Crime intelligence, SAPS K9 Overberg Cluster had a successful operation on Tuesday after they arrested nine foreign nationals for abalone smuggling with an estimated value of more than R20.2 million.

Two Chinese nationals and two Zimbabwean nationals aged between 24 to 27 were arrested for operating an illegal abalone processing facility in Welgemoed, Bellville. Dried abalone units with an approximate value of R6.5 million as well as abalone processing equipment were seized.

In Stikland, Bellville the team seized more abalone and equipment valued at more than R13 million. Kenyan and Somali nationals aged 23 and 30 were arrested.  

The team proceeded to Parow where another illegal processing facility was unveiled. Two Chinese nationals and a Zimbabwean national aged between 25 to 26 were arrested after more units of abalone were seized.

The suspects were charged and are due to make their court appearance in the Bellville Magistrates’ Court tomorrow, 14 0ctober 2021.