Eight arrested on perlemoen poaching charges
POLICE have arrested eight people in two perlemoen poaching incidents in the past few days.
Yesterday police arrested seven suspects for perlemoen, or abalone, poaching between Robben Island and Sea Point.
Around 3.30am yesterday police patrolling the area saw a boat moving without navigational lights, according to a police statement.
The boat tried to speed off, but police chased it and forced it to stop, according to Warrant Officer November Filander.
As police approached, one of the suspects emptied a bag into the ocean.
“They suspect it was abalone,” Filander said, but they had not been able to retrieve it.
Police arrested seven men in diving suits and found four perlemoen on the boat’s deck.
Back at the Cape Town Harbour, one of the suspects was also found to have dagga on him.
The suspects, from Hout Bay, ranged in age from 22 to 42 and will soon appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on charges of possession of perlemoen without a permit, possession of dagga, fishing in a marine protected area, having too many people aboard a vessel and operating a vessel without a navigational light.
Filander said they would appear in court on Monday.
Earlier this week, Cape Town law-enforcement officers arrested a man in Sea Point for being illegally in possession of 138 perlemoen, according to the City of Cape Town.
On Wednesday after noon officers caught a 40-year-old man at Broken Baths Beach and brought him to the Sea Point Police Station, where he will be kept until his court date.
The officers gave the recovered perlemoen to the Sea Point police.
“Sea Point is a marine reserve and offenders who wish to harvest marine life illegally will pay the price in court,” said Gavin Greeve, lawenforcement area west assistant chief, in a statement.