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Suspected poaching syndicate appears in court

The case against an alleged abalone poaching syndicate has been postponed.

File: Abalone. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The case against 25 members of an alleged abalone poaching syndicate was postponed in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

The accused appeared for a pre-trial conference earlier in the day.

They were arrested between 2011 and March 2013 following an intensive Hawks investigation.

It emerged in court another suspect was also taken to custody.

The man was arrested at his Bellville home earlier this week.

His lawyer said he would try to get his client acquitted as he believed he was wrongfully arrested.

The case is regarded as one of South Africa's biggest abalone poaching rings.

Judge Robert Henney, who is presiding over the matter, said he doubts the trial will start in 2013.

Several of the accused have entered into a plea agreement and will turn state witness.

The case was postponed to April 12.