12 July 2005

Police seize abalone (perlemoen) at Namibian border

Police seized perlemoen with an estimated street value of R1,4-million at the Nakop border post near Upington on Monday.

Northern Cape police spokesperson Superintendent Hendrik Swart said about two tons of perlemoen were found behind a secret panel on an abandoned truck at the border post on Sunday.

Swart said border police noticed the truck, with Mozambique numbers plates, standing alone and investigated.

"A strong smell was noticed and after investigation it was found that a hidden storage place contained abalone," he said.

Swart said a 48-year-old man from Belhar in Cape Town was arrested while hitch-hiking between the border and Upington.

"The origin of the abalone (perlemoen) is still unknown but it is believed to be from Cape Town," Swart said.

The man, believed to be the truck driver, would appear in the Upington magistrate's court on Tuesday.

Source: www.iol.co.za


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