Abalone Poachers Disturbed

Poaching activity in Melkbosstrand is at an all-time high with once again in excess of 60 divers in the water on Sunday evening.  Sadly this has become the norm.  In fact some evenings 100 plus divers descend on this (usually) quiet, peaceful town bringing unwanted criminal activity and high-speed vehicle get aways compromising the safety of residents, and visitors to the area,  not only on the streets but on our beaches where one should feel safe but cannot.

With divers come vehicles, carriers, lookouts and so much more.  The number of unwanted criminal elements in the area on one night quickly escalate – in no time at all well over 100 poaching related individuals are invading Melkbosstrand.

On Sunday evening 10 November 2019, with perfect diving conditions members of MNHW’s Anti-Poaching Unit deployed to observation points; immediate confirmation was received of several vehicles dropping divers minutes apart at various locations in the avenues.  Four, seven, another twenty odd with at least ten already in the water, another eight…. and so it went on as the night progressed. Relevant authorities were contacted by APU requesting assistance to immediately launch a joint operation with Melkbosstrand SAPS and SAPS Borderline confirming availability.

One drop-off vehicle packed with divers was detected early in the evening, divers were prevented from entering water, taken to Melkbosstrand SAPS for profiling and escorted out of the area.  Sometime after midnight another abalone pickup vehicle transporting abalone was detected and apprehended on the R27.   A second vehicle transporting divers was also stopped however without abalone in their possession they could not be charged.  This is the unfortunate reality and the reason why it is not as simple as many believe.

The remaining divers in the water were notified of the developments by their counterparts, a standoff between APU and the divers in the water resulted in some soaking time for the remaining divers having to work hard for their loot.  Being volunteers, after a long night with Monday morning work fast approaching APU Members stood down and called it a (successful) day (night)!   This Joint Operation culminated in the successful arrest of the driver, one impounded vehicle and  677 confiscated units of abalone with an approximate street value of R338 500.00.  Around 70 volunteer man hours were spent on this operation from 20h00 to 04h30 Monday morning.

WE NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE

Please visit our website for more information on how you can help or if you would like to get involved  http://www.melkbosstrand.net/poaching-response/

Huge thanks as always from Melkbosstrand Neighbourhood Watch APU to SAPS Melkbosstrand, SAPS Borderline, Law Enforcement Marine Unit, SAPS K9, Neighbouring SAPS stations and all the MNHW APU members who give up their valuable time fighting crime and assist keeping Melkbosstrand residents and our Marine area protected.

PhillipPoaching
Abalone Poachers Disturbed Poaching activity in Melkbosstrand is at an all-time high with once again in excess of 60 divers in the water on Sunday evening.  Sadly this has become the norm.  In fact some evenings 100 plus divers descend on this (usually) quiet, peaceful town bringing unwanted criminal activity...