Perlemoen plea deal: 6 abalone poaching syndicate members cut deals with State

The Khayelitsha Regional Court handed down suspended sentences to six people arrested in the Western Cape and Gauteng in February last year.

FILE: Abalone confiscated by police officials. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Authorities have cut deals with members of an abalone poaching syndicate.

The Khayelitsha Regional Court has handed down suspended sentences to six people arrested in the Western Cape and Gauteng in February last year.

This week they all entered into plea bargains with the State.

Jeremia Abrahams, Romania Curtis Hans, Frederick Myburgh, Angelo van Niekerk, Albert van Niekerk and Ashley Cloete were tried for contravening the Marine Living Resources Act for the transporting of abalone, which is also locally referred to as perlemoen.

They have all been handed sentences of two years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years with stringent conditions.

All the abalone and processing equipment seized were forfeited to the State.

The syndicate's kingpin in the Western Cape, Solomon Sauls, entered into a plea agreement with the State in the Western Cape High Court in February and was sentenced to an effective 18 years direct imprisonment.

READ: Cape court finds 2 members of abalone smuggling syndicate guilty

At the time of sentencing Sauls was already serving jail time.

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