Alleged perlemoen poaching syndicate members back in court

Nineteen suspected members of a massive perlemoen poaching syndicate are expected back in the dock at the Cape Town Regional Court on Wednesday.

The 19 suspects, nine of whom are marine inspectors from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, were arrested in March. 

They are facing charges of corruption and racketeering.

The alleged syndicate is believed to have operated in Gansbaai, Hermanus, Hawston, Bredasdorp, Stanford, Pearly Beach and Kuilsriver.

It is alleged that the department officials sold back confiscated perlemoen to buyers, who were also taken into custody on suspicion of being part of the syndicate.

The officials also allegedly escorted illegal consignments of perlemoen.

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