In what can be termed a multimillion rand integrated takedown operation, members of SAPS, Customs and Excise and brand protectors from various famous high end products descended on a shopping complex in Durban Road in Bellville this morning to tackle the illicit trade in counterfeit goods. At around 10:00 the multidisciplinary team executed a search warrant after a thorough investigation where intelligence was gathered over a period of time.

The end product of the operation saw truckloads of counterfeit goods comprising an assortment of popular brands as well as illicit tobacco products being transported to a depot as exhibits in a contravention of the Counterfeits Goods Act case. The value of the seizure is hard to determine at this premature stage but a fair estimate will go beyond a R100 million. Four suspects have been detained while many traders abandoned their stalls upon police arrival and managed to escape being apprehended. As our investigation unfolds, more arrests could be affected.

The Provincial Commissioner of the Western Cape police, Lt Gen (Adv) TE Patekile expressed his sincere appreciations towards the members of the team who ensured the successful removal of fake products from the streets of the Province. Lt Gen (Adv) Patekile said that those who are under the impression that they can make a lucrative living from selling inferior goods to the public and impacting on the economy of the county should reconsider, because more similar operations will be executed not long from now.