A truck believed to be carrying abalone was seized in Cape Town early Thursday morning.

Esa Alexander, Gallo Images, The Times

  • The truck was stolen in Cape Town and found dumped in Volfgat Nature Reserve hours later.
  • Although News24 has learned for sure that the truck was transporting abalone for export, the police received neither confirm nor deny the claim.
  • According to News24, the hijackers were dressed in police uniforms.

A truck full of abalone was stolen in Cape Town in the early hours of Thursday morning, and hours later it was found abandoned in the Wolfgat Game Reserve – empty of its cargo.

News24 obtained insider information which indicated that the truck was carrying abalone destined for export and that the hijackers were wearing police uniforms, but the Western Cape Police would neither confirm nor deny the allegations.

Information indicates that the hijackers, who were driving marked police cars, stopped the truck as it was traveling on the N2 in the direction of Cape Town International Airport.

The truck driver and crew were dropped off in bushland near Tafelsig, police spokesman Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbuie said.

He said:

The driver claimed the entire crew was robbed without firearms or ammunition before being rescued by police officers.

The truck was found abandoned in the Wolfgat nature reserve just after 04:30 – about four hours after the hijacking – on Thursday with no cargo on board, he added.

When asked if the suspects were wearing police uniforms, Swartboy said “all allegations and information are under investigation.”

No arrests have been made, and at the time of publication, police had not released an estimated value of the stolen cargo.

READ | Sea under siege: Police seize 440,000 abalone taken from the Overberg over the past five years

Werner Pieck, marketing manager for Abagold – an abalone farm in Germanus – said that a load of abalone is usually of high value and of interest to criminals if it contains dried abalone.

He said none of the company’s trucks had been stolen recently, adding that most of its supplies were meant for live export via shipping containers and did not have much value on the black market.

“There have been hijackings in the past, but we could never be sure if they were targeting an abalone or a vehicle,” he said.

“It’s a risk we manage all the time.”

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