saps banner
2023/06/06      |  Written By:  Colonel P Naidu   |   Province:  Eastern Cape

Sarah Baartman District: 5 June 2023 - Excellent synergy between the K9 units of Makhanda, Cradock, Gqeberha and Queenstown about vehicles transporting abalone  led to the arrest of a  46 year old suspect and the recovery of abalone worth over R1 million. It is alleged that on Saturday, 3/06 at about 22:00 information was relayed about a white Toyota bakkie transporting abalone and that the vehicle was travelling on the R350 road. While SAPS Grahamstown K9 unit in Makhanda were patrolling the suspected route, they found the vehicle about 27km out of  Makhanda. The vehicle was involved in an accident and abandoned.

Off duty, Sgt Anthony Benade of Grahamstown K9 unit assisted by SAPS Grahamstown crime prevention unit drove to the nearest hospital to make enquiries however when they established that no one was brought in for treatment, they contacted the ambulance services who informed them that the suspect was dropped off at a garage as he indicated that he did not require treatment.

Members proceeded to the garage and found the suspect hiding in a room. He was taken back to the accident scene. Nothing was found in the vehicle however when members started searching the immediate vicinity, they found 17 bags of abalone (5810) hidden underneath cardboard boxes. The estimated street value of the molluscs R1,020 000. It is further alleged that the abalone was destined for Bloemfontein from Gqeberha.

The suspect was detained on a charge of possession of abalone and is expected to appear in court this week.

Sarah Baartman District Commissioner, Maj Gen Zolani Xawuka commended the team work between the various K9 units including SAPS Grahamstown Crime prevention members. “We are warning criminals who use our roads to conduct their illegal trade that we are alert and will not hesitate to arrest and confiscate their goods. We will continue in our efforts to topple these organised syndicates whose activities also impact on serious and violent crimes. The exceptional work done by our teams sends a clear message to criminals that we are not sleeping,’ added Maj Gen Xawuka.