Four suspects arrested in Steenberg for poaching activities and illegal weapons worth R1.9million

Four suspects were arrested in Steenberg on Tuesday, on charges of poaching activities and illegal weapons.

 PHOTO: Facebook/JP Smith


 The City of Cape Town’s Marine Unit received a request for assistance from the national Department of Forestry Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) to following up information on a residence in Chief Rd, Steenberg.

The premises were searched and 10 whole crayfish, 20 crayfish tails, 2 imitation firearms, 2 unlicensed firearms and 55 rounds of ammunition were discovered. A 36-year-old male suspect was arrested.

Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security, JP Smith said that the link between illegal poaching and gang activity has long been established, with the demand for crayfish and Abalone on Asian black markets soaring.

“The dangerous trade of illegal poaching has become a lucrative commodity for gangs across the Cape Flats, but as gang activity has increased over the Steenberg, Retreat and Lavender Hill areas, so has drug dealing, poaching operations and firearm conflict. The harsh connection between illegal poachers and armed conflict is again demonstrated by the assortment of weapons and ammunition found along with the seized marine resources,” said JP Smith.

In a separate incident, and following up on additional information of a premises nearby, officers proceeded to a residence in Squaaw Rd. Upon searching the premises, a massive haul of 5367 crayfish tails were uncovered in 4 freezers. A further search uncovered another unlicensed firearm. The 3 occupants of the premises were placed under arrest.

According to Smith, the success of these combined efforts eliminates the remarks of those who often advocate for the innocence of those arrested, claiming "poaching activity is simply those seeking a source of food" or those that are looking to the oceans for livelihood. The large number of marine resources recovered combined with the illegal firearms in both instances, proves the violence and terror such perpetrators are willing to inflict through their efforts of defending their own selfish actions.

Western Cape police confirmed the incident, saying the lobster tails is worth an estimated street value of R1.9 million

‘’When [police members attached to the Anti-Gang Unit] entered the premises in Squaaw Road, Steenberg, they conducted an intense search and in the process confiscated 5267 rock lobster tails, five lobsters, four deep freezers and two scales. They arrested and detained a male aged 40 and two females aged 40 and 47 on charges of possession Rock Lobsters without a permit,’’ said Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi.


The suspects are expected to make their court appearances in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court, soon.

Done By: Esona Mfazwe


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