Abalone syndicate ‘export guy’ uses social grants ‘deal’ as excuse in bid to leave SA


But the South African Post Office has denied that there is any truth to the claims.

Denver Langenhoven appeared in the Cape Town Regional Court for his alleged role in one of the biggest abalone poaching syndicates in the country.

But instead of being permitted to leave the country‚ he was ordered to hand over his travel documents to police.

Defence attorney Likhaya Makana told the court that Langenhoven would be travelling to Hong Kong‚ and possibly Russia‚ in connection with a possible handover of the grant payment system to the National Post Office.

Langenhoven‚ according to his legal counsel‚ has a contract to carry out work for the Post Office.

Post office spokesperson Johan Kruger said: “There is no third party involved in any negotiation on our behalf anywhere.”

Two Chinese nationals‚ suspected of being the ring leaders of the syndicate‚ fled the country after being granted bail of R500 000 and R200 000 (with a bond on a property).

State advocate Blaine Lazarus expressed concern that the two missing suspects would have “access” to Langenhoven if he travelled abroad.

“There is no guarantee. Accused one had R500 000 bail‚ he fled. Accused two had R200 000 bail and a house on bond‚ he fled‚” said Lazarus.

“The places where the accused is going are places they probably have access to. He was the main export guy in the syndicate‚ he accompanied them overseas. We are dealing with major organised crime‚” he said.

He added that it was “scary” to think that Langenhoven would be going overseas for “Sassa which has been in the news” lately.

Magistrate Victor Gibson said that Langenhoven and his employer would have to be “more innovative” with the use of technology such as teleconferencing.

“My concern is that very recently it has become unnecessary for South African’s to apply for visa’s to go to Russia‚” said Gibson.

The syndicate was caught thanks to an undercover investigation by the former Scorpions in which an agent infiltrated the organisation between 2005 and 2006 and collected “covert video footage”‚ pictures‚ and audio recordings.

A high ranking member of the 28’s gang‚ Leslie Abrahams (aka Perly King)‚ was sentenced to six years in prison in 2011 for his role in the syndicate.

Langenhoven‚ who worked at a fish processing plant in Kleinmond‚ was allegedly recruited into the syndicate after they decided to start exporting frozen abalone.

The syndicate exported so much abalone that government closed the abalone season in 2008 to give the precious marine resource time to recover.

TMG Digital/The Times

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