R8 million of perlemoen found in Cape Town house

Police responded to a tip off of a "bad smell" in Rondebosch East

stacked perlemoen found inside a house in Rondebosch East, Cape Town
stacked perlemoen found inside a house in Rondebosch East, Cape Town
Image: supplied

Two men were arrested and R8 million worth of perlemoen found inside a Cape Town house after residents complained about a bad smell.

A total of 4 200 units of shucked abalone and 16 105 units of dried abalone, estimate to be worth of about R8 million, was found inside a house doubling as a processing factory.

Rondebosch East perlemoen bust
Rondebosch East perlemoen bust
Image: supplied

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexan said that the discovery came on Tuesday when the Cape Town K9 Unit received a complaint of a “bad smell” in the neighbourhood of Rondebosch East.

“At 9:30pm they approached a house in Fifth Avenue where there was a stench and also the smell of incense. Upon entering the premises they uncovered an illegal abalone processing facility,” she said.

“In a room alongside the kitchen there were numerous containers full of shucked abalone, two steel cooking pots and burners connected to a gas cylinder and other equipment.

In another room they found a fully equipped drying room with numerous shelves stacked with abalone being dried,”

Rondebosch East perlemoen bust
Rondebosch East perlemoen bust
Image: supplied

Rwexan said that in two other rooms bags and crates containing dried abalone were also found.

In an attempt to hide the smell, sticks of burning incense were also found in the house.

Rwexan said that more equipment, including gas cylinders, drying shelves and chest freezers, were found in the outer buildings and the courtyard.

Two men, 21 and 37 years old, were arrested on the scene.

Both men are expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for several charges under the Living Marine Resources Act.

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