Perlemoen smuggler dies after 100km high-speed chase

Johannesburg - A person, believed to be transporting R3m worth of perlemoen, has been killed in a car accident that ended a 100km high-speed chase on the N1 north of Kroonstad, the Free State department of environmental affairs said on Sunday.

On Saturday afternoon a car with Swaziland registration plates failed to stop at a roadblock outside Kroonstad, spokesperson Kgotso Tau said.

"The [department's] Green Scorpions gave chase and the driver lost control.

"The paramedics certified one suspect dead and the other one was taken into custody and is being questioned by police."

Perlemoen with an estimated value of R3m was recovered at the scene.

Other perlemoen busts

In the Western Cape around R1.7m worth of the endangered sea mollusc was recovered in two separate incidents.

In the early hours of Friday morning Lwandle police chased down a VW Polo driving at high speeds on the N2 towards Cape Town, Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said.

"During the search, police discovered that the vehicle was loaded with about 4 120 units, estimated at street value of R780 000."

A 37-year-old man was arrested.

In the second incident in the province, Lwandle police stopped a white bakkie on Saturday morning. The driver abandoned the vehicle and ran away. Around R1m worth of perlemoen was found in the bakkie.