Police: Abalone worth over R45 million seized in 2015/16 financial year

Police say they’ve have also secured 65 convictions since 2015.

FILE: A 53-year-old Hermanus man has been arrested after he was caught with abalone worth R1,2 million in Cape Town. Picture: Saps.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Legislature has heard poached abalone worth more than R45 million was seized in the 2015/16 financial year.

Provincial police management is briefing the legislature's Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture on its anti-poaching operations.

Police have already confiscated more than R285,000 units of illegally poached abalone.

Deputy provincial commissioner Thembisile Patekile says they've have also secured 65 convictions since 2015.

"We have six cases of admission of guilt, 31 cases sentenced in court, six cases of those who received suspended sentences, two cases of direct imprisonment and the total suspects convicted is 43."

Patekile has told the committee gangs are often behind poaching syndicates.

He also says sentences imposed by courts are not seen as a deterrent.