Warrant of arrest issued after abalone accused FAILED to appear in court
Khayelitsha – A warrant of arrest has been issued for one of four men accused of racketeering, money laundering, fraud and contraventions of the Marine Living Resources Act relating to their illegal abalone activities in Cape Town.
The court was ready to start with sentencing procedures and waited for more than an hour for accused Sean Kruger, 32, but he failed to appear at the Khayelitsha Regional Court on Thursday.
The four men, all on bail, were convicted on all 23 counts.
Another accused, Chinese national Zhi Cheng Wen, absconded shortly after he was arrested in 2011.
Prosecutor Blaine Lazarus asked that Kruger be kept in custody pending the finalisation of the matter and his bail be forfeited to the State for skipping the court hearing.
Lazarus said on Thursday was not the first time Kruger had delayed proceedings – on numerous occasions during the trial he arrived late in court. He asked the court to investigate why he kept arriving late and why he was not present on Thursday.
“He is late every time. It must be investigated why he is always late,” said Lazarus.
Three others, Abri Filipe Bucchianeri, 30, Cecil George Kruger, 63, and Busobenkosi Matera, 34, attended the proceedings and were warned to come back to court next month. The Krugers are father and son.
The father, who was accompanied by his family and friends to court, uses crutches to walk and sat down during proceedings while the other accused stood.
Lazarus proved that Bucchianeri and both Krugers acted in common purpose with Matera and the Virdon Trading CC and contravened the Marine Living Resources Act by storing, managing and exporting abalone illegally.
Matera was employed to obtain premises in Table View to be used for the collection, possession, transportation, controlling and illegally processing abalone for export purposes.
Sentencing procedures continue on March 16.