The South African Police, acting upon information received about possible abalone poaching at Robben Island on 19 November 2019, arrested a number of poachers.
While patrolling the waters surrounding Robben Island at 2 am, the Police spotted a number of boats which sped off after becoming aware of police presence. The divers were however left behind in the sea.
Various SAPS role-players were activated to assist for the search of the suspected poachers which resulted in the arrest of 17 suspects for transgressing the Marine Living Resource Act, (Protection of wild abalone) and being in possession of prohibited gear in a listed area. No abalone was however found in their possession.
Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon, Police acted on information about more people still hiding on the island and that boats were preparing to fetch the poachers from the island.
The Police conducted a further search at Robben Island Murray’s Bay and arrested seven suspects found hiding between the rocks outside of the harbour wall still dressed in diving gear. Eight diving kits were confiscated.
All 24 suspects aged between 21 and 50 from Hermanus, Hout Bay, Kleinmond and Grassy Park are expected make a court appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on today, 21 November 2019.