South African Police Service | Western Cape | NARI
8 Feb 2018, Cape Town: The illegal trade in marine resources was dealt a blow this morning when an explosion at a house in Hely Street, Maitland expose an illegal abalone processing facility.
This morning Maitland police responded to a complaint of an explosion at approximately 06:50. Upon entering the premises, they discovered an illegal abalone processing facility at the back of the house.
The buildings were extensively damaged by the explosion. Two neighbouring houses were also damaged. In the remains of what was the drying room, were numerous shelves of abalone being dried, a gas cylinder and a fan. In another room there was a large amount of containers filled with shucked abalone.
Numerous items of equipment, including gas cylinders and burners, fans, scales and bags of salt are to be seized.
One person was admitted to hospital with severe burn injuries and another one fled the scene. Two suspects were arrested, a 33 year old male and a 50 year old woman.
The exact value of the abalone confiscated is yet to be determined, however it is valued at a substantial amount.
They are due to appear in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on charges under the Living Marine Resource Act, once they have been charged.