Gansbaai: The Book - A bit off beam

As with most new enterprises, the informal trade in abalone (unsympathetically known as "smuggling") took a while to get going and to operate more predictably. An early impediment to this free trade in abalone was the matter of communication, especially between members of the various groupings competing for a slice of the pie while keeping the men in blue in the dark at the same time.

A police task team had been specially imported from up North and were given their own radio network with an antenna on top of Franskraalberg, using special frequencies that could not be intercepted as the ordinary mobile police transmissions seem to have been. Their special arrangements soon lost their effectiveness though, despite unusual frequencies and encryption methods. The police soon also lost their ability to intercept the messages between the informal abalone traders' cellphones.

Then one Sunday the strangest thing happened in Gansbaai: a group of model-car builders used to gather for racing their miniature radio-controlled cars and in the middle of one race the cars suddenly started to misbehave wildly: they braked and accelerated wildly, jumped off the track and tried to drive up the walls of the clubhouse.

Radio experts investigated this strange phenomenon and found that the radio frequency, set aside for the model-car freaks had been hijacked by the smuggers in an attempt to set up their own safe radio network, but unfortunately picked, of all the frequencies to be had, that one and so get caught out. They escaped unrecognised, but did not repeat their mistake...

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