Police seize R10m illegal abalone

Johannesburg - Police have shut down an illegal abalone-drying facility and seized six tons of the gourmet mollusc with an estimated street value of R10m, one of their biggest busts against international poaching rings.

Police spokesperson Kholekile Galawe said two Chinese men and a South African had been arrested during the raid on a remote farm in the Eastern Cape. They were cooking and drying the perlemoen.

"Little did they know that the long arm of the law would reach them in their hideout," Galawe said in a statement.

The three men will appear in court on Wednesday.

Destined for trendy restaurants in Hong Kong and China, abalone - dubbed "white gold" after its pearly flesh - can fetch up to R4 500/kg on the black market, and nearly three times that in Asia, experts say.

Johannesburg police arrested four people in July at another drying plant that yielded nearly five tons of illegally caught abalone. Rampant poaching is driving the species to the brink of extinction in the southern Africa region, experts say.

Read more on: conservation marine life
Nelson Sibeko 2014/08/12 06:12:53 PM
Well done to all who worked hard to bust this syndicate.
Mal Singh 2014/08/12 06:20:42 PM
Always seems Chinese behind it.
Rocky Bell 2014/08/12 06:41:52 PM
One question: What happens to the billion Rands worth of confiscated perlemoen??
matches 2014/08/12 06:53:50 PM
...forget the value of Abalone Tell us who are the people in the syndicate...
Richard Nieckau 2014/08/12 07:21:04 PM
They suck the life out of anything they can get their paws on.
Franco Ollewagen 2014/08/12 07:42:26 PM
Why is Abalone illegal in this country??? Aus is trading with it to Asia?
Monica Kieck 2014/08/12 10:27:13 PM
So what now? They did not rape or murder people. This is now the big deal? When are you going to catch the real criminals raping and killing people? They will get out of jail; yet the rapist and murderers are still on the run killing more people and rape more people. I am sad I have to read the news of little children being killed with drug lords. Why are you not after them?