Overstrand K-9 unit helps with arrest of alleged abalone syndicate members
This past Friday evening (2 December 2022), the Overstrand K-9 Unit ensured that 4 members who are allegedly part of an abalone smuggling ring were stopped in their tracks.
This Unit, along with the Land Invasion and Mobile Units followed up on leads that a consignment of abalone was being illegally transported. The Units gave chase and managed to arrest the suspects along the N2 highway close to the Grabouw area. The Overstrand unit, which operates throughout the Overberg District, has 6 officers and 6 dogs.
The Units made various confiscations. These include:
- 1 563 Units of abalone, with an estimated street value of R 350 000,
- Two vehicles with a combined estimated value of R 270 000 and
- 7 cellphones.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “These successes are part of the reason why we, as the Western Cape Government continue to invest in the K-9 Unit. They are disrupting the flow of illicit items and helping to put those involved in these illegal activities behind bars. The justice system must play its part by denying these suspects bail, finding them guilty and imposing heavy sentences, so that it can serve as a deterrent to would be criminals. We have to persevere in our fight against these criminal elements, as this will help establish safer environments where both human and marine life is safe and secured.”
The K9 Unit’s main objective is to serve as a crime fighting force multiplier to the South African Police Services (SAPS) and other role-players. The unit does this through the detection and searching of contraband, particularly illegal drugs, firearms, ammunition as well as providing assistance to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs to curb the illegal trade of abalone, crayfish and other marine products.
Minister Reagen Allen continued: “There is a great need for the expansion of the K-9 Units, particularly since SAPS’ K-9 unit has been depleted in the Western Cape. The national government continues to show that resourcing SAPS in this province is not a priority, resulting in our communities, major highways and coastlines not being protected. As the Western Cape Government, we want to strategically have more K-9 units deployed in critical areas, and for this reason it is important that SAPS in the Western Cape is run by a capable provincial government such as ours. This will ensure that their K-9 unit can also be well-resourced and utilised effectively.”
“We will not cease our successful and efficient working relationship with all role-players, as we are fully aware that through collaboration, we will be able to create safer roads, coastlines and communities,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.