According to FIS website, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) said it is determined to eradicate corruption within its ranks. After discovering that some officials were taking bribes from crime syndicates involved in abalone poaching, the SAPS have tasked an internationally reputable auditing firm to run a forensic audit of the fisheries branch.
Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said some department officials were implicated by findings from the preliminary investigation into corruption in the department.
Corruption practices were linked to the allocation of quotas, transfer of rights and preferential treatment given to certain businesses, Joemat-Pettersson said. She was unable to disclose the name of the auditing company; but insiders said the investigation would be led by Ernst & Young.
The minister congratulated community members and DAFF officials who had helped expose poaching activities, and encouraged South Africans who had information around poaching to inform the authorities. Following increased surveillance by police and other officials last week, over 30,436 units of abalone were seized, leading to seven arrests in five different incidences of illegal poaching. Two arrests were made in Riviersonderend last week and 3,806 units of abalone were confiscated, FIS reports.