Abalone drying facility uncovered after explosion, Motherwell

South African Police Service

Abalone drying facility uncovered after explosion, Motherwell
Abalone drying facility uncovered after explosion, Motherwell. Photo: SAPS

Abalone with an estimated street value of over R1 million rand was discovered at a drying facility in Motherwell after the entire place was gutted due to a gas explosion on Friday night, 19 November 2021.

It is alleged that at about 21:50, police responded to an explosion at a house in Ncwazi Street NU 7 in Motherwell. On arrival, the entire house except one room was gutted due to the explosion.

On further investigation, fans, gas bottles and 2227 units of abalone were found in the house.

The house was rented out about 6 months ago. No suspects were found on the scene.

The Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit in Kariega are investigating cases of malicious damage to property and in terms of the Marine Living Resource Act, 19 of 1998 – operating an abalone processing establishment without a permit.

Police are appealing to anyone who can assist them in their investigation in tracing the suspects to contact D/W/O Raymond Ley on 082 441 7985 or 041 996 3340.

The confiscated abalone was taken for storage by the Department of Sea Fisheries.

Nelson Mandela Bay District Commissioner, Brigadier Thandiswa Kupiso is urging residents not to turn a ‘blind eye’ to any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods instead to report it to the police. “The operation of illegal activities such as this in residential areas can be detrimental and life threatening to innocent people. Homeowners renting their properties have the onus of visiting and inspecting their properties from time to time. We will not allow criminals to ply their illegal trade among law abiding citizens,” added Brig Kupiso.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service