Customs seizes abalone worth R1.6 million at Lebombo border


The South African Revenue Service’s Customs has seized dried abalone worth R1.6 million, which was hidden in a trailer of a taxi at the Lebombo border.

In a statement, the revenue collector said the intention was to illegally import the abalone into South Africa from Mozambique. The abalone was packed in 21 boxes and weighed 460 kg.

The driver of the taxi is currently in the custody of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the abalone was handed over to SAPS for further investigation. When the investigation concludes, SAPS will hand over the vehicle to SARS for further Customs procedures.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter praised the Customs officers for their vigilance and dedication to fulfilling the SARS mandate of combatting illicit trade, whether it is in the form of imports or exports.

“Our Customs officers are committed to making it hard and costly for smugglers and to protecting South Africa’s economy. Any attempt to use our country as a springboard for illicit activities will be fiercely resisted. In this case, the officers have demonstrated their commitment to preventing the illicit trade in protected and endangered species,” the Commissioner said.