Perlemoen worth R154000 recovered, nine arrests made

SIX suspected perlemoen poachers were arrested in Port Elizabeth yesterday just days after three other suspects were arrested in two separate incidents last week.

The six – aged between 21 and 27 – were arrested following a raid at a Hope Street house in Sidwell, police spokesman Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said.

Algoa Park police patrolling in the area spotted a suspected vehicle parked in a driveway.

"The officers recognised the licence plate as that of a vehicle which was reported stolen in May," Labans said.

"Officers raided the house and arrested six suspects. During a search of the premises two bags containing 369 units of perlemoen worth about R14000 were found as well as diving equipment."

The six are expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on charges of illegal possession of perlemoen and a stolen vehicle tomorrow.

Yesterday's arrest comes after a 59-year-old Swartkops man was arrested last Tuesday, allegedly with perlemoen worth about R90000, while travelling along the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay.

The next day, police swooped on a couple – both 24 – at a Bridgemead townhouse, where they found frozen perlemoen worth about R50000 stashed in a freezer. – Gareth Wilson