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News: Mangaung Crime combatting unit members arrest suspect at clandestine abalone labratory in Universitas

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Free State


BLOEMFONTEIN - On Saturday, 21 January 2023, Mangaung Metro Crime Combatting Unit members operationalised intelligence on a clandestine laboratory where abalone was illegally processed at a house in Boersma Street, Universitas. The team arrived at the identified target house at about 20:00 and tactically gained access to the house. 

Drying pans packed with abalone, packages of salt, sodium hydrosulphite, fans, heaters and gas bottles were found in different rooms of the house and seized. The weight of the seized wet abalone was about 1900 kilograms with an estimated market value of R3,5 million. The dry abalone was also weighed at about 230 kilograms with an estimated market value of R1,4 million. The total value of the confiscated abalone is estimated at R4 941 494-00. Two males were found at the house, with one using the hidden escape exit to evade the police. A 52-year-old foreign national was arrested by the team.

Different role-players arrived to process the scene. A case of unlawful possession of abalone was opened at Parkweg Police Station. The suspect will appear in Bloemfontein Magistrate Court on Tuesday, 24 January 2023.


Lt Col Thabo Covane
082 461 7473


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