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Abalone possession case postponed

Three men appeared in court in connection with a R33 million abalone bust.

Three men appeared in court in connection with a R33 million abalone bust. Picture: Supplied"

CAPE TOWN - The case against three men charged with the illegal possession of abalone, commonly known as perlemoen, with an estimated street value of R33 million has been postponed.

Two Chinese men and a farmer appeared in the Alexandria Magistrates Court in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.

The case was postponed for further investigation.

They trio was arrested last month in a farmhouse near Alexandria with 1630kg of abalone worth 33 million rand.

The two Chinese men, who were not granted bail and are allegedly illegally in the country, will remain behind bars.

The two were allegedly responsible for the cleaning, packing and drying of the perlemoen.

The owner of the farm, Jacobus Marthinus van der Mescht, was released on R20 000 bail.

Their next court appearance is 27 September.

In another incident, two Chinese men were bust with seven bags of perlemoen in Bloemfontein on 15 July.

The perlemoen had an estimated street value of R90,000.

The suspects were from Cape Town en route to Lesotho.

According to environmental organisations, perlemoen is on the brink of extinction.