A gas explosion in a house in Motherwell in Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape revealed a pool of poached abalons with an estimated street value of over R1m.
According to police, the explosion occurred on Friday. The officers arrived at the house at Ncwazi Street NU 7 at around 9:50 pm, where they discovered a drying facility.
“Upon arrival, the entire house except one room had been gutted due to the explosion. Further investigation found fans, gas bottles and 2,227 abalone units in the house. “
Police say the house was rented about six months ago. No suspects were found on site.
The Animal Theft and Endangered Species Division in Kariega is investigating malicious damage and operating an abalone processing facility without authorization.
Nelson Brig Thandiswa Kupiso, District Commissioner of Mandela Bay, urged residents not to turn a blind eye to suspicious activity in their neighborhood and instead report it to the police be life-threatening. Homeowners who rent their properties have a duty to view and inspect their properties from time to time. We will not allow criminals to engage in illegal trafficking among law-abiding citizens. “
The confiscated abalone was placed in safekeeping by the Department of Sea Fisheries.
The police will appeal to anyone who can assist them in their investigation in finding the suspects. Contact officer Raymond Ley on 082 441 7985 or 041 996 3340.