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Media Release: TMNP and SAPS operation seizes 1 198 abalone

Date: 2009-01-08

A joint Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and South African Police Services (SAPS) operation led to the arrest of six suspects and the seizure of 1 198 abalone at Buffels Bay in the Cape of Good Hope section of the TMNP in the early hours of this morning.

The six men were taken to Simonstown Police Station where the following charges were laid:

  • diving in a restricted area;
  • transporting abalone without a permit;
  • transporting abalone that is not in its whole state, i.e. with the shells removed.

In terms of the contravening the Protected Areas Act, the suspects have been charged with:

  • Illegal entry into a national park as they did not have entry permits.
  • Coming into a national park outside of visiting hours. The normal visiting hours at the Cape of Good Hope are between 06:00-18:00.

The boat that was used by the suspects has been confiscated.

TMNP rangers and SAPS members observed the group diving from an observation post and effected the first arrest after 04:00 this morning, on land. The rest of the suspects were arrested by the SAPS diving and sea-border units while in the water.

The SAPS suspects that the suspects may have dropped other bags of abalone and will be going back to Buffels Bay soon.

Inquiries:
Phumeza Mgxashe, Communications Manager, Table Mountain National Park, Tel: (021) 701 8692, Cell: 083 480 1522

Captain Randall Stoffels, Cape Town Central SAPS Communications, Cell: 082 469 1835

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