Johannesburg - Five people have been arrested during a raid on a perlemoen drying facility at a house in Kuilsriver, Cape Town, the Hawks said on Sunday.
"Upon searching the premises they found wet and dry abalone [perlemoen\ to the value R3.2m and equipment to the value of R50 000 and R23 000 in cash," Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.
"Five unsuspecting suspects - three Chinese and two Zimbabweans nationals - were arrested immediately."
Investigations into the group's involvement in illegal perlemoen poaching and their status in the country were ongoing, he said.
The five were expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday.