Mathew Phiri (45) and Patrick Kanyembo (34) appeared at Paarl Regional Court on Monday, 31 August 2020 for sentencing.
This follows their arrest on 23 June 2020 in a joint search and seizure operation on the N1 near the Huguenot Tunnel undertaken by members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit, Crime Intelligence, K9 Unit and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
The team uncovered a total of 14 855 units of dried abalone worth a total value of R5.6 million concealed in several boxes at the back of a hired truck under bags of onions and potatoes. The duo remained in custody since their arrest.
Phiri and Kanyembo pleaded guilty on all charges which included receiving, transporting and possession of illegally poached abalone as well as money laundering.
The Paarl Regional Court sentenced the duo to five years imprisonment and an additional two years imprisonment. Both the sentences are wholly suspended for five years with stringent conditions.
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