Three in court for alleged possession of abalone worth more than R2.5m

Three people briefly appeared in the Somerset West Magistrate's Court on Friday for the alleged possession of abalone worth more than R2.5m.

Shen Hongyu (43), Tu Dugn (27) and Ibrahem Abdalla Atieh Alnaimat (33) were arrested during an intelligence-driven operation on Wednesday at a Wine Farm in Somerset West, Hawks spokesperson Philani Nkwalase said.

Nkwalase said investigations by the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit and Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) officials led to a search and seizure operation at an alleged illegal abalone laboratory.

He added that two vehicles and an undisclosed amount of cash were found during the search.

Alnaimat was released on R150 000 bail. Hongyu and Dugn are still in custody.

The case was postponed to the August 17 pending further investigations, Nkwalase said.