Authorities smelled something fishy when they pulled over a hearse to find that it was transporting over R500,000 worth of crayfish tails.
CAPE TOWN – Authorities smelled something fishy when they pulled over a hearse to find that it was transporting over R500,000 worth of smokkeled crayfish tails.
A 24-year-old man was caught in the vehicle belonging to a Muslim burial service on the N2 close to Gordons Bay on Thursday.
A Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) officer, who netted the suspect, was told the hearse was on its way to a janaazah at the time.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said 5,441 illegal kreef to the value of R544,100 were hidden in body bags.
“One of our members, who was previously stationed at the K9 in Cape Town and is now based in Gauteng, received a tip-off and alerted an official at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries who made the arrest and the discovery valued at R544,100.
“The suspect is due to make a court appearance in Strand once he has been charged.”
The hearse reportedly belongs to the Cathkin Islamic Society.
The Heideveld-based funeral service repeatedly dropped calls made by the DFA’s sister newspapaer the Daily Voice to their numbers on Sunday.
Ebrahim Solomons of the Western Cape Muslim Undertakers Forum confirmed the suspect is not one of their members.
“We would like to place on record that the person arrested was not a member of the Western Cape Muslim Forum. Code of ethics does not allow a hearse to be used for other purposes except to transport human remains,” he said.
The Muslim Judicial Council’s second deputy president Sheikh Riad Fataar condemned the incident.
“The MJC expresses shock and dismay at a report circulating on social media of an illegal shipment of crayfish tails confiscated from a vehicle described as being a hearse,” he said.
“The MJC calls upon those from amongst the Muslim community who commit crimes whilst using religious symbols as a cover for their crimes to repent to Almighty Allah and to refrain from acts of disobedience to Allah.”
He said the MJC would investigate the matter in order to gather more information.