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Cape Town police net 3 suspects found with crayfish worth over R9m


Three suspects were arrested for illegally storing R9 million worth of crayfish.

Three suspects were arrested for illegally storing R9 million worth of crayfish.

The community policing forum (CPF) in Elsies River has welcomed the speedy arrest of three suspects found in possession of crayfish with a street value of R9 million.

The suspects were arrested at a warehouse in Racing Park in Milnerton on Wednesday as part of police’s efforts to stamp out the illegal trade of crayfish.

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Nowonga Sukwana said police followed up on information about a truck that was hijacked in the early hours of Wednesday morning, which paved the way for an integrated operation.

Members of the Maitland Flying Squad, Crime Intelligence, Stock Theft, and Endangered Species Unit then raided the property.

“Members searched the premises and found crayfish stored in 180 cooler boxes with an estimated street value of R9 million,” Sukwana said.

CPF spokesperson Mark Lindsell believed the bust was one of the biggest in the area.

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“Illegal crayfish trade is a huge issue, and police did a fantastic job nabbing those involved. This is probably one of the biggest illegal crayfish busts the area has seen,” Lindsell added. 

According to police, the suspects appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Their case was postponed to next week.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Maitland Flying Squad arrested a 21-year-old man in Belhar for being in possession of 3 864 crayfish without a permit.

“Members followed up on information about crayfish tails. They swooped in and searched the premises [where they found] crayfish tails worth R1.7 million in a fridge,” Gwala added. 

The suspect will appear in the Bellville Magistrate’s court on Monday. 

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