Ten were arrested on Friday morning for their alleged involvement in the illegal trade of succulents. An 11th suspect is already in custody.
TEN men between the ages of 25-50 were arrested in the Namakwa area during Operation Crassula for their alleged involvement in the illegal trade of succulents on Friday.
The suspects were arrested in Garies, Spoegrivier, Paulshoek and Bitterfontein.
An eleventh suspect is currently in custody.
The teams raided 10 premises simultaneously on Friday morning.
Police spokesperson Colonel Mashay Gamieldien said the undercover operation was initiated in May 2019 during which agents engaged with the suspects negotiating and completing transactions amounting to millions of rands.
“Crassula is a diverse and extensive genus of succulent plants commonly known as Jade plant or Pink Joy.
“The operation was executed simultaneously by collective teams under Colonel Wilmo Vermeulen from Provincial Organise Crime which includes Provincial SAPS components, various units, the Namakwa district office and units and stations within the district as well as support from the ZF Mgcawu units,” said Gamieldien.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major-General Johan Bean applauded the collective action by the various units and components for the excellent successes achieved.
Bean further thanked the investigative team for their meticulous investigation and planning over the last 2 years which delivered remarkable successes and seizures including Eriosperum plants valued at R50 000-00, dagga with an estimated street value of R5880-00 and 18 cellphones valued at R32 000-00 over this period.
Bean stated that the protection of our endangered fauna and flora is of utmost importance to the Province.