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26 Feb 2018

R2.37m abalone seized from Durban Harbour

Se-Anne Rall (Daily News)

Illegally harvested abalone, valued at R2.37million was seized during a sting operation by SARS Customs officers at the port of Durban recently.

In a statement released by SARS Customs, it was revealed that the sting operation was initiated after the Hawks had seized illegally harvested abalone from a container in Port Elizabeth earlier this month.

“Based on the intelligence from the Port Elizabeth bust, a ship travelling to Sri Lanka was ordered to return to South Africa and arrived in Durban last week. A suspicious container was removed from the ship and inspected after two SARS Customs sniffer dogs indicated the possible concealment of endangered species products in the container,” the statement read.

The container was found to contain 156 boxes of frozen abalone to the value of R2.37 million hidden amongst other items.

The frozen boxes of abalone were handed over to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Hawks for further investigation.