Game’s up! 13 Suspected Abalone Poachers Caught with R280 000 of Abalone

Law enforcement officers VS poachers.

The end of a successful operation. The photo was taken at Seaside Village, Big Bay.

13 Suspected abalone poachers were busted in the early hours of Sunday morning shortly after they had emerged from the sea at Melkbosstrand carrying a massive haul of abalone.

The men (aged 21-43) were monitored while they entered the sea at Water’s Edge on Saturday night, 15 October. SAPS Sea Border Unit, the Anti-poaching unit and members of the Neighbourhood Watch of Melkbosstrand waited until they emerged in the early hours of Sunday morning.

According to the spokesperson for Table View police Captain Adriana Chandler, they “were seen exiting the water with what appeared to be abalone and placing them in bags.  The men were then joined by two more men who placed the bags with presumed abalone in other bags.”

Ill-fated operation
According to Captain Chandler, “The men then started to walk towards Table View with the bags and hid in bushes along Otto du Plessis Drive, where they were met by other men who drove three vehicles.  The men were seen loading the heavy laden bags into the vehicles and quickly started to drive off.”

Abalone. Photo to illustrate

Abalone. Photo to illustrate

The net was closing in
The suspected poachers were not going to get away with their haul however. At this point a call was made from Melkbosstrand for back-up, and a description of the vehicles and suspects and the direction in which the vehicles were moving were given.  Table View SAPS, together with other partners cordoned off an area on
Otto du Plessis Drive near Big Bay. Here, the net closed in, and the 13 men were arrested and charged with numerous crimes under the Marine Life and Resources Act.

What a haul
One-thousand-and-forty-four abalone valued at R280 800 were confiscated and handed over to the Law Enforcement Marine Unit.



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