Media Release: Thirty-five arrested and 2 258 abalone seized at Cape Point
14 May 2009
A routine anti-poaching operation by the joint team of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), the SAPS, SANParks Environmental Crime Investigations and Marine Coastal Management (MCM) led to the arrest of 35 suspected poachers and the seizure of 2 200 abalone at Cape Point.
All the arrests happened between 19:00 last night and 02:00 this morning. Along with the abalone, two semi-rigid inflatable boats as well as diving equipment were confiscated. The suspects and the seized equipment were taken to Simonstown police station.
All suspects were charged with contravening the Marine Living Resources Act, specifically diving abalone in a prohibited TMNP Marine Protected Area (MPA). Another charged slapped on the suspects is that of being in a TMNP MPA illegally.
The confiscated goods are believed to be valued at over R1 million. The SAPS units involved in the operation were: Canine Unit, Seaboarder Unit and the Diving Unit. MCM was represented by the Special Investigations Unit.
In another incident, not related to the first operation, the team arrested two suspects, who were caught with 58 abalone in their possession. They were spotted while driving through Simonstown in the early hours of this morning. One of the suspects is a known offender, who has been caught by the TMNP before.
Phumeza Mgxashe, Communications Manager, Table Mountain National Park, Tel: (021) 701 8692, Cell: 083 480 1522