9 people arrested for allegedly smuggling abalone worth R20.2m in CT

The Hawks, together with the police and the Department of Environmental Affairs, conducted an operation on Tuesday.

FILE: The Hawks said four of the suspects were apprehended for allegedly operating an illegal abalone processing facility in Welgemoed, in Bellville. Picture: SA Police Service/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Nine people have been arrested for alleged abalone smuggling worth an estimated R20.2 million in Cape Town.

The Hawks, together with the police and the Department of Environmental Affairs, conducted an operation on Tuesday in the Bellville area.

The Hawks said four of the suspects were apprehended for allegedly operating an illegal abalone processing facility in Welgemoed, in Bellville.

The Hawks' Zinzi Hani explained: “Dried abalone worth R6.5 million as well as processing equipment was seized.”

Further arrests were made when officers pounced on another facility.

“In Stikland, more suspects were detained after the team seized more abalone and equipment worth R13 million,” Hani said.

In Parow, another illegal processing facility was unveiled.

The suspects will appear in the Bellville Magistrates Court on Thursday.

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