ILLEGAL CARGO: 8 989 abalone in Toyota Quantum

A 39-year-old resident of Worcester appeared in court yesterday in connection with a perly bust worth approximately R5 million.

Police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie says the man was arrested on Tuesday night after members of the Flying Squad who were patrolling the N2, reacted to a tip-off about a suspicious Toyota Quantum minibus possibly transporting stolen abalone.

“The members found 78 bags filled with a total of 8 989 abalone pieces inside the cabin of the kombi,” says Pojie.

The Flying Squad arrested the man from Worcester and also confiscated the vehicle which is registered in his name.

“The value of the abalone is estimated at approximately R5 million,” says Pojie.

“The suspect was remanded in custody at Buffelsjagsrivier. The matter was postponed to August 5.”

This is the latest of several big busts that have been made in the Cape in the past two weeks, during which cops confiscated more than 17 000 pieces of abalone, amounting to millions of rands.