–Edited by Bev Mortimer
The SAPS arrested two men in St Francis early this morning in possession of R28k worth of abalone.
It is apparent that abalone poachers are targeting St Francis as this is the third reported abalone bust in the area this year. And the SAPS urges coastal residents to assist in protecting endangered marine life.
The police said they acted on a tip-off of a local resident, who reported witnessing a suspicious incident of people loading bags into a car at Shark Point, St Francis Bay at 6.40 am.
Police also said a security company sent a security guard to the scene, where he witnessed four poachers loading their haul into a navy Toyota Avanza. The security company contacted the SAPS.
The suspects sped away from the scene in the car.
At Tarragona Road two of the suspected poachers left the car and ran into nearby bushes. The other two men were caught and arrested for illegal possession of 163 abalones which were confiscated.
Police also found diving equipment which was impounded, along with the car. An application for the car to be forfeited to the State will be made. The police said investigations are continuing and the arrested men, aged 30 and 53, are due to appear in the Humansdorp Magistrate’s Court on 8 July on charges of illegal possession of abalone in contravention of the Marine Living Resource Act 18 of 1998 Reg 36.