Abalone poaching kingpins jailed for 15 years
The crime bosses sentenced for looting South Africa’s coast of 400 tonnes of abalone get bail with strict conditions
The kingpins of a criminal syndicate responsible for looting SA’s coast of 400 tonnes of abalone and shipping it to Hong Kong were sentenced in the High Court in Cape Town on Monday. The marathon case, which has been running for 11 years, came to an end with Judge Patrick Gamble handing down 15-year jail sentences to two of the accused‚ Adriaan Wildschutt and Tony du Toit. Willem van Rensburg was sentenced to eight years in prison and Phillip Miller to four years. A fifth accused‚ Johannes Liebenberg‚ received a one-year suspended sentence. Van Rensburg‚ Wildschutt‚ and Du Toit were granted bail with strict conditions following sentencing after they were granted leave to appeal. They were found guilty of racketeering under the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act for their roles in running the syndicate. Gamble noted evidence by a Marine Coastal Management official that abalone could sell for as much as HK$3‚800 per catty (a unit of measurement equal to 604g), or R5‚800 for 604g, in t...