PICS: Abalone syndicate, caught with 25.3 tons of abalone worth R37 million, in court

Koobadran Naidoo, Marius Robyn Hendricks, and Magnon Swartz. Photo: Hawks

Koobadran Naidoo, Marius Robyn Hendricks, and Magnon Swartz. Photo: Hawks

Published Jun 12, 2024


An alleged abalone syndicate appeared in the George Magistrate’s Court in the Western Cape after they were arrested on Monday, June 10.

The eight suspects were arrested during a takedown operation across the Western Cape by members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks) who also filed charges against a company being used by the group.

Provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Zinzi Hani said warrants of arrest were executed by the multi-disciplinary team led by the Hawks in the Western Cape, supported by the Public Order Police (POP) and Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) attached to the Overberg District.

Jianxian Wu, 49; Jerome Jacobs, 51; Magnon Swartz, 56; Marius Robyn Hendricks, 50; Francois Visser, 46; Jacob Arendse alias Jappie, 56; Danny Ralph Marais, 65; Koobadran Naidoo, 62; and Kaiden Logistics CC face a series of charges ranging from transportation and storage of illegal abalone, money laundering, managing the affairs of a criminal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and illegal exporting of abalone.

Danny Ralph Marais, Francois Visser, and Jerome Jacobs. Photo: Hawks

The group was arrested in the Cape Peninsula, Overberg and Hassequa areas.

The criminal syndicate was mainly operating in the Western Cape and Gauteng provinces.

“On May 19, 2024, information was received on the whereabouts of the eighth suspect residing outside the Western Cape,” Hani said.

“Immediately, the suspect was traced and arrested at his residence, in Britz in the North West. The accused, Jianxian Wu was then transported to George to make his first appearance at the George Regional Court on May 21.”

Jianxian Wu and Jacob Arendse alias Jappie. Photo: Hawks

The investigation has stem from 2016.

“Since the inception of this investigation in 2016 a total of 25.3 tons of abalone were seized from the suspects to an estimated value of over R37 million,” Hani said.

“As a result of this investigation, a total of 12 cases were registered with a combined total of 77 charges.”

Naidoo, Jacobs, Swartz, Hendricks, Visser, Arendse, Marais, and the company had the matter postponed until June 14, for a bail application and have been ordered to remain in custody.

The matter against Wu has been postponed until June 24 for bail application.

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