SAPS efforts to curb the proliferation of illicit and counterfeit goods have paid off when counterfeit goods worth millions were confiscated by Border Police on 28 June 2019.
It is alleged that the Sea Border members received information to profile a container destined to East London via Ngqura Port of Entry. On 28 June 2019, members conducted the search together with South African Revenue Services and the agent representative where the container was discovered full of different types of counterfeit goods. The following goods with a total value of R45 553 400. 00 are as follows:
· 7200 x branded sunglasses valued at R10 800 000. 00
· 960 x Tommy Hillfiger belts valued at R960 000. 00
· 52 000 x Smooth pens valued at R104 000. 00
· 360 x Swiss Gear backpacks valued at R360 000. 00
· 400 x Gucci sling bags valued at R3 600 000. 00
· 1 413 x branded watches valued at R29 729 400. 00
The counterfeit goods were seized and handed to officials from Customs and Excise for the safekeeping.
In a separate incident, three suspects aged between 25 and 42 were arrested when a suspicious vehicle was stopped at a roadblock on the N2 towards Cape Town. Upon searching the vehicle, an undisclosed amount of cash was discovered together with different brands and models of cellphones and accessories.
The confiscated goods are as follows:
· 708 x cellphoves valued at R4 775 000.00
· 49 x cellphone batteries valued at R49 000.00
· 1 x earphones valued at R250. 00
· 1 x cellphone charger valued at R250. 00
All the goods and the vehicle valued at R500 000. 00 were confiscated after being confirmed by patent attorneys that they are counterfeit. Department of Home Affairs was also summoned to verify the authenticity of the passports of the suspects and it was confirmed that the suspects are illegally in the country.
The suspects were charged for possession of suspected stolen goods.
Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major Gen Andre Swart commended the Border Policing members for their vigilance. “The vigilance of the Border Policing members will continue to ensure that more counterfeit goods are prevented from entering our shores and borders and in return curb the proliferation of these goods,” said Maj Gen Swart.
“Fake and counterfeit products pose a serious risk to the country’s economy as South Africa loses tax revenue due to the illicit trade. The community is fervently urged to refrain from buying counterfeit goods and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police,” he concluded.