Judgment expected in multi-million rand abalone case


PORT ELIZABETH, February 4 – Judgment is expected in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday in the case against the suspected kingpin of a multimillion-rand abalone enterprise.

Julian Brown, 32, a high school drop out, faces a string of charges which include racketeering between January 2015 and April 2016.

Brown is accused of heading the enterprise alongside Eugene “Boesman” Victor and Brandon Turner, allegedly his right-hand men.

According to the indictment, Brown faces an additional charge of money laundering in relation to the purchase of a luxury vehicle.

Brown earlier claimed that he made his money from scrap metal and the sale of second-hand cars before registering his construction business, J&B Construction.

He also claimed that he was too uneducated to know that he needed to declare tax to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) while living the high life.

The prosecution alleges that during September 2015, Brown visited Dada’s Motorland, a secondhand car dealer near Fourways, Gauteng, and expressed interest in a white Ferrari California valued at almost R1.9 million.

Brown allegedly approached Martin Kriel, asked him to buy the Ferrari, finance it and register it in his name in lieu of payment of R500 000 in cash. Brown agreed to pay the monthly instalments in cash to Kriel.

He then gave Kriel the amount of R502 000 in cash in return for the transaction.

In October 2015, Kriel bought and financed the Ferrari California, and the vehicle was registered in his name. The luxury vehicle was delivered to Kriel’s residence, and Brown collected it at a later stage. The state believes the R502 000 was the proceeds of unlawful perlemoen activities.

Other men who testified at the trial as Section 204 witnesses allegedly helped Brown build up his multimillion-rand perlemoen enterprise.

In a detailed indictment, the prosecution sets out the nature of the business, which allegedly involved the packing, drying, salting, freezing and processing of abalone for sale outside South Africa.

The indictment states these alleged operations took place across Nelson Mandela Bay involving a number of role players. Operations ran from namely, Forest Hill, Algoa Park, Westering, Sherwood, Kamma Ridge and North End.

The state further alleges that in May 2015 Turner operated an illegal abalone processing establishment from his home in Westering, where 7570 units of abalone weighing over a ton were later discovered.

-African News Agency (ANA)