Eastern Cape police say they are closing in on suspects and arrests are imminent after abalone valued at more than R600,000 was seized in two vehicles on the N2.
Provincial police spokesperson Sgt Majola Nkohli said a case of contravening the Marine Living Resources Act (illegal transporting of abalone) has been opened for investigation.
“On Tuesday at about 5am it is alleged a resident alerted the Humansdorp K9 police about suspicious people loading plastic bags into two vehicles, a red VW Polo and a blue Audi, at the beach in Pellsrus, Jeffreys Bay,” Nkohli said.
Nkohli said a K9 vehicle was dispatched immediately to monitor the N2 between Jeffreys Bay and Thornhill with the assistance of Thornhill police.
“Moments later, the two vehicles were spotted on the N2 and were pulled off the road. The occupants of both vehicles disembarked and ran to nearby bushes. A search was conducted, but the three suspects managed to escape. On searching the two vehicles, police found abalone estimated at more than R600,000,” said Nkohli.
Nkohli said the two vehicles were seized for further investigation.
Police have urged residents in coastal cities and towns to assist in protecting endangered marine life.