Four men are due in court after they were busted with perlemoen worth an estimated R6 million on a Boland farm.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk says Cape Town K9 Unit members were called in to assist Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries officials during an operation at a suspected illegal abalone processing plant on a farm near Bonnievale on Monday.
“At approximately 5.45am members arrived at the premises where the dog responded positively to abalone in the building,” Van Wyk says.
“Upon entering the premises an illegal abalone processing plant containing various items of equipment and abalone in the process of drying, was recovered.”
Two Chinese nationals aged 23 and 39 as well as two South African men aged 37 and 40 were arrested on the farm in the Boesmansrivier area outside Bonnievale.
“In total 15 586 units of dried abalone was seized,” says Van Wyk.
According to DAFF spokesperson Palesa Mokomele the bust was made as a result of an ongoing investigation.
Officials are still trying to find out who owns the farm.
The four suspects are due to appear in the Robertson Magistrates Court today on various charges under the Marine Resources Act.
Earlier this year, two Chinese men were sentenced to a year behind bars after being caught with perly worth nearly R6 million on a farm outside Greyton.