A 35-YEAR-OLD Zimbabwean and a Chinese (28) who were recently arrested by South Africa’s organized crime unit, the Hawks for illegal possession of dried abalone worth nearly R10 million are set to make a formal bail application tomorrow at the Atlantis Magistrate’s Court, in Western Cape province.
Lawrence Muroma and Qing Quan Feng were found in possession of 70 boxes dried abalone on May 16.
The trading of abalone shellfish, which is regarded as an endangered species, is prohibited in most SADC countries.
The shellfish is a unique type of snail classified under the gastropod phylum-mollusca and is often referred to as the sea ear because of its flattened shape. This type of seafood is considered a delicacy in Asia.
Hawks’ spokesperson for Western Cape Ms Zinzi Hani said the two have been charged for possession and transporting of illegal abalone in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998.
“The two accused persons remain in custody,” said Ms Hani.