A ZIMBABWEAN man and Chinese chef who were working at a Cape Town restaurant, who were caught in possession of processed abalone (perlemoen) with a street value of R1,1 million, were each handed down suspended prison sentences when they appeared in the Priority Court in Khayelitsha this week.
The Zim Olbert Dhilwayo, 36, of Dunoon, and the Chinese chef, Ye Hong Huang, 40, who worked in a restaurant in Brackenfell, in Cape Town’s northern suburbs, appeared before magistrate Gary Harmse on Thursday.
Their appearance was after a police swoop on the Lamber Jack smallholding in Gordon’s Bay last month.
The case took the form of a plea bargain, negotiated by defence attorney Wynand Du Plessis with senior State advocate John Ryneveld, the prosecutor.
In court papers, the Dhliwayo said the premises were rented in his name and that his role was to sort, weigh and cook the abalone while Huang’s role was to dry the abalone – the final step in the processing of abalone.
An aggravating factor was that the confiscated abalone was for export, and not personal consumption.
Both pleaded guilty to two counts – operating an illegal fish processing establishment and the illegal possession of abalone.
On the first count, they were each sentenced to three years in prison, conditionally suspended for five years.
On the second, they were sentenced to two years jail, suspended for five years. – ANA