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3 abalone syndicate suspects appear in court

The arrests were made after police raided a suspected abalone laboratory where they seized wet and dry abalone.

Abalone confiscated in the Strand, near Cape Town on 24 July 2018. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Three suspects believed to be part of an alleged illegal abalone syndicate appeared briefly at the Somerset West Magistrates Court on Friday.

The men, aged between 27 and 43, were arrested on a wine farm in Somerset West on Wednesday after the Hawks and members of the Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Department conducted a joint operation.

The arrests were made after police raided a suspected abalone laboratory where they seized wet and dry abalone worth about R2.5 million, as well as equipment and money.

Hawks spokesperson captain Philani Nkwalase said: “One suspect was released on R150,000 bail while the other two remain in custody. The case was postponed to 17 August 2018, pending further investigation.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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