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R60 Million of Fraudulent Goods Seized

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Law enforcement agencies have seized counterfeit goods with an estimated value of R60 million at shops in Johannesburg’s central business district.

During a joint operation conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime unit, South African Police Service, Department of Home Affairs, customs and SARS on Tuesday, authorities searched 120 shops at the Quebec Building.

“…they confiscated clothes, bags, cosmetics, accessories, and jewellery of the protected brand names including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana, Adidas, Nike, Puma, Soviet, Converse, and Guess with an estimated value of R60 million,” Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said.

A man was arrested for trying to bribe authorities while they were searching the shops and another seven others were arrested for not having the necessary legal documents.

Malumu said the operation was targeted at trading in counterfeit goods, tax evasion, money laundering and human trafficking.

The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza, commended the members who played part in the success of the operation.

“We warn those engaged in the distribution of counterfeit goods that we will seize and bring them to book. This campaign serves to ensure that the jobs of ordinary South Africans in the textile and retail industry are protected,” said Ntlemeza.

Meanwhile, Hawks and customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport nabbed a 60 year-old Pakistan man after he allegedly tried to smuggle R10 million in cash to Dubai on Tuesday.

A routine search was conducted at a departure check-in point and authorities recovered US Dollars equivalent to R10 million concealed in foil inside the suspect’s travelling luggage.

The suspect will appear before the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

This is a second incident in two months. In October this year Madiha Rafiq was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport on the same charges.

Rafiq is currently out on a R40 000 bail and his case was postponed to February for further investigation. –