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SA lost R10bn to abalone poaching between 2000-2016

There have been at least five multi-million rand abalone busts in the Western Cape alone since December.

Three men were arrested following an abalone bust in Paarl East. Picture: SAPoliceService/Facebook

CAPE TOWN – Abalone poaching has cost South Africa 96 million individual abalones worth R10 billion between 2000 to 2016.

This is according to a recent report by TRAFFIC, an international wildlife trade monitoring organisation.

There have been at least five multi-million rand abalone busts in the Western Cape alone since December.

Each of the operations saw batches of illegally poached abalone worth more than R2 million being confiscated.

In December, a police operation in Swellendam led to the seizure of more than 7,000 units of abalone worth R3 million; one suspect was arrested in this case.

A month later, two people were arrested after officials found over 5,500 units of abalone to the value of R2.4 million in Milnerton.

In February, there were two more major busts in Durbanville and Touws River.

In the Karoo bust, officers discovered a truck loaded with abalone worth an estimated R28 million and just last week, officials found abalone worth R5.5 million in Century City and arrested two people.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)