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Pair sentenced in abalone poaching syndicate


Media Statement from Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS)
South African Police Service

WESTERN CAPE – Denver Langehoven (45) and Solomon Sauls (48) appeared in the Cape Town Regional Court on 25 November 2020 for sentencing on a string of charges that include contravention of the Marine Living Resources Act as well as Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).

Langehoven was sentenced to Fourteen (14) years imprisonment on POCA and ten (10) years on 385 counts of contravention of the Marine Living Resources Act and three (3) years for fraud. He will effectively serve 14 years imprisonment as the sentences have been ordered to run concurrently.

Sauls was sentenced to Seven (7) years’ imprisonment on POCA and two (2) years for the 6 counts of the Marine living Resources Act. Sauls is currently serving 14 years jail sentence on a Riviersonderend matter that was also investigated by the Hawks. The three (3) years of the sentence will run concurrently with the 14 years jail sentence he is currently serving.  He will effectively serve four (4) years imprisonment.

Initially 11 suspects were arrested, but one has since died. Warrants of arrest were issued for the others. One suspect entered into a plea agreement and three were given suspended sentences, whilst one other was found guilty and sentenced to 2 years direct imprisonment.

They were arrested by members of the Serious Organised Crime Investigation team together with officials from the Department of Environmental Fisheries and Forestry, on a joint operation that dates back in 2006. This was when the now defunct Directorate of Special Operations known as Scorpions raided export companies which were dealing with illegal abalone exports concealed in containers and shipped to China.

The Hawks Acting Provincial Head in the Western Cape, Brigadier Mushavhaduvha Ramovha hailed the sentencing of the two convicts and warned that those who continue to plunder our environmental resources will also be brought to book.


Zinzi Hani
071 481 6905