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Poachers ‘feel the heat’ as police seize R1m abalone in the Eastern Cape

Durban – Police in the Eastern Cape said abalone poachers are “feeling the heat” as they close in on illicit poaching activities along the Gqeberha coastline.

In two separate incidents police have seized over R1 million worth of abalone.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said on Wednesday, police and private anti-poaching units monitoring the coastline confiscated abalone and diving equipment worth thousands of rand.

“In the first incident, at about 3.10am, special operations were held in our endeavours to apprehend illegal poachers operating in the ocean.

“The team comprising of K9 members and Gqeberha Flying Squad assisted by private anti-poaching units confiscated eight bags of abalone at Maitland beach.

“A total of 1119 units of abalone estimated at R650 000 was confiscated.

“The six suspects on spotting police approaching them, ran off in different directions.”

Naidu said in the second incident at about 5am that same day, Public Order Policing were patrolling on the M4 Road, when they noticed a rubber duck in the sea that was moving from the Summerstrand side towards Bluewater Bay.

“The members rushed towards Bluewater Bay and noticed the rubber duck that was now racing away from the beach.

“The members then patrolled the beach on foot and found five green bags tied with rope.

“The bags were filled with 1 007 units of abalone. The estimated value of the molluscs are R422 940.”

Naidu said that same day two rubber ducks, diving gear and equipment were confiscated from the beach at Noordhoek.

“An enquiry docket was opened for investigation.”

No arrests had been made in either incident.