Two Chinese nationals who were caught with thousands of perly on a well-known former rugby player’s farm in the Overberg will have a taste of tronk life after they entered into a plea bargain with the State.
Jiam Liang Hong, 26, and his co-accused Guohui Li, 35, were each sentenced to a year behind bars after being found guilty of contravening the Living Marine Resource Act in the Khayelitsha Regional court yesterday.
They were sentenced to one year for the possession of abalone without the necessary permit and another year for operating a fish processing plant without a permit.
These sentences will run concurrently.
Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Lloyd Ramovha says the sentences follow after the accused pleaded guilty on both counts.
Hong and Li were arrested earlier this month on former WP rugby player Calla Scholtz’s farm, Klein Eike, outside Greyton, when cops and members of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Special Investigation Unit followed up information about an illegal abalone drying facility.
Members attached to the Hawks and DAFF SIU confiscated more than 2 000 dried perlemoen as well as equipment such as gas burners, drying racks and huge pots with an estimated street value of R5.7 million.