LIMPOPO – Police in Limpopo have made a major breakthrough after R6 million worth of abalone was recovered during a regular stop and search operation at the Groblersburg Port of Entry.
South African abalone, mostly known locally as perlemoen is endemic to the shores of South Africa and due to their high market value, are one of the most sought-after invertebrates in the country.
According to Col Moatshe Ngoepe, spokespserson for the police, the recovery occurred when a truck travelling to Zimbabwe via Botswana was stopped by police at the search point of the border post on Wednesday night, 3 October.
During the search, the driver and his crew jumped off, ran away on foot and disappeared into the darkness.
Ngoepe says police continued searching the truck and found the abalone in a hidden compartment under the loading bin, stashed in potato sacks.
“1350 killograms of abalone with the estimated value of R6 million was found. The origin and destination of these protected species is still being determined through ongoing police investigations,” he said.
According to the Hawks’ provincial spokesperson, Captain Matimba Maluleke, the Hawks has received a tip off about the truck and acted on it.
“Two passports belonging to two Zambian nationals were seized,” he said.
Anyone with information which can lead to the arrest of these suspects may contact Captain Richard Boshomane at 079 894 5501; the crime stop number 0860010111; the crime line SMS 32211 or the nearest police station.
Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Leutenant General Nneke Jim Ledwaba has commended all members at the boarder post who were involved in this milestone achievement for the sterling work done.
The manhunt for the suspects continues.