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2023/07/19      |  Written By:  Colonel P Naidu   |   Province:  Eastern Cape

Sarah Baartman District: 18 July 2023 -  Despite several police warnings, abalone smugglers still choose to become involved in this illegal crime, some risking their lives in their efforts to get away from police. An alleged suspect, age unknown died on Sunday evening, 16/07  while escaping from police.  It is alleged that late in the evening, SAPS Cookhouse Highway patrol members  were patrolling on the N10 when they noticed two vehicles  travelling  together. As  soon as they attempted to stop the vehicles, they started speeding. The Audi  Q5 was stopped just outside Cookhouse. The driver of the vehicle jumped out  and ran into the trailer of a passing truck while trying to run away . He died on the scene.  Two other suspects, aged 31 and 37 years old were arrested. Identity of the deceased is yet to be confirmed.

Police confiscated 43 bags (4785 units) of abalone. The estimated street value is R3,8 million. The second vehicle, a Chevy Spark was found abandoned on the Cradock Road and was confiscated. Police are investigating a culpable homicide in respect of the accident. The suspects are expected to appear in the Somerset East magistrate soon on charges of illegal possession of abalone and illegal transportation of abalone.

Sarah Baartman District Commissioner, Maj Gen Zolani Xawuka reiterated that illegal abalone activities is a huge concern and commended SAPS Cookhouse Highway Patrol members  for their alertness and intuition in nabbing these smugglers before the highly valued shellfish reached its intended destination. ‘ The poaching of these molluscs can have a significant negative impact on the endangered species so efforts to apprehend  those involved is crucial. By apprehending abalone poachers, our officials are not only upholding the law but also sending a strong message that illegal activities like this will not be tolerated,’ warned Maj Gen Xawuka.


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The Audi Q5 was stopped just outside Cookhouse.