Abalone poachers get away – again

DRIVER FLEES FROM VEHICLE LOADED WITH ABALONE

A law enforcement chase on the R43 / 7th Street in Voëlklip ended when a suspect ploughed his car into the Voëlklip circle in the early part of the evening on Wednesday, 15 May 2024.

About 5 262 units of abalone, packed in clear bags, were found inside the Nissan X-trail SUV, with an estimated street value of R1.27 million.

Members of the Overstrand Municipality’s Rapid Response Unit were doing crime prevention patrols on the R43 between Gansbaai and Hermanus, when they noticed the white SUV driving recklessly and at high speed.

The chase ended at the Voëlklip circle, where the driver of the SUV lost control and slammed onto the rocks and flower display. He also tried ramming the law enforcement bakkie off the road during the high-speed chase.

The driver ran away on foot. The SUV and abalone were handed over to the Hermanus SAPS.

In an unrelated incident, officers patrolling the Schulphoek area in Hermanus, managed to apprehend a suspect in Mount Pleasant. The man was found in possession of the stolen phone.

According to the law enforcement members, a resident approached them to report that a man wearing black clothes with a red scarf, snatched his phone and ran towards Mount Pleasant. The officers immediately followed up and managed to find the suspect in Protea Street. They took the man, the stolen cell phone and the owner of the phone to Hermanus SAPS.

A successful joint operation led to the arrest of two alleged poaching suspects on 14 May 2024 at the Hawston Harbour. A rubberduck inflatable boat and diving equipment were also confiscated during the arrest.

The suspect’s arrest follows a collaboration between the Overstrand Municipality’s Task Team and LEAP officers together with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) in Gansbaai, Cape Nature, Overberg SAPS Task Team and Boland Public Order and Public Safety policing (POPS).

They are facing charges of diving in a restricted area, the illegal possession of abalone and prohibited diving equipment.

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