A 32-year-old man was arrested after officers seized abalone worth an estimated R500 000 in Winburg in the Free State province at the weekend, police said on Monday.
Free State police spokesperson Mamello Mokhuoane said in a statement officers from the K9 unit discovered the abalone haul after pulling over a “suspicious” vehicle on the N1 highway.
“The bakkie was searched and black plastic bags full of abalone were found. The bakkie was from Cape Town headed to Johannesburg,” Mokhuoane said.
“One suspect male aged 32 was arrested whilst the other one managed to escape into the veld. A police chopper was activated to search for the suspect who was on the run but all in vain.”
The abalone weighed 350 kilogrammes and had an estimated value of R538,000.
The arrested suspect was expected to appear in the Winburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.