Zimbabwean, Chinese National In Trouble Over R10 Million Abalone Deal
Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A 28-year-old Zimbabwean and his Chinese accomplice (35) are in trouble after they were busted by South Africa’s organised crime unit, the Hawks on Monday over an illegal deal involving dried Abalone worth nearly R10 million.
An Abalone is a small sea creature that can be eaten and lives inside a shell that is the shape of an ear.
The duo, whose names are still being withheld pending further investigations, were found in possession of 70 boxes dried Abalone in the Western Cape.
Hawks spokesperson for Western Cape Ms Zinzi Hani said the two have been charged for possession and transporting of illegal Abalone in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998.
She said they appeared before the Atlantis Magistrates’ Court where the matter was postponed to May 26 for formal bail application.
“The two accused persons remain in custody,” said Ms Hani.
“They were arrested after members of our Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Crime Intelligence, and officials from the Department of Environmental Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) acted on information concerning the transportation of illegal Abalone”.
She said two accused persons were travelling in a Hino truck and a white Audi along the N7 highway and heading towards Malmesbury.
Ms Hani said the two men were stopped at a service station in Philadelphia for searches leading to the discovery of the dried Abalone which was hidden in a false compartment in the vehicle.