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Blitz on shops in Durban's Point precinct sees several closed and 15 undocumented foreign nationals arrested

THE Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs closed several shops in the Point area for operating without a licence and selling expired goods. I LEON LESTRADE African News Agency (ANA)

THE Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs closed several shops in the Point area for operating without a licence and selling expired goods. I LEON LESTRADE African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 20, 2020

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Durban - CHECK expiration dates on

products on the shops’ shelves, warns Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

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The MEC closed several stores in Durban’s Point area on Tuesday, and 15 undocumented foreign nationals were arrested for operating unregistered businesses.

Dube-Ncube said the raid was in response to tip-offs and complaints by shop owners about illegal activities.

Corner shops and supermarkets on Masobiya Mdluli (Fisher) Street, Pickering Street and Mahatma

Gandhi Road were inspected by the Business Regulations and Consumer Protection Unit.

In a supermarket, the Daily News was shown packs of tea with an expiration date of December 25, 2019. Aromat seasoning expired in February 2020. Rat droppings were found, and vegetables were openly displayed in boxes on the floor.

A putrid smell led inspectors to the back of the shop, where a dead rat was found under a broken fridge.

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Within minutes, the shop had

been closed.

Inspectors made several people in the queue aware of the health hazards regarding expired food.

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Several stores in Durban’s Point area was closed. Fifteen undocumented foreign nationals were arrested for operating unregistered businesses. Video by Zainul Dawood

Inspectors told the Daily News that three shops operated within 100m of each other on Masobiya Mdluli Street. Their support base

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was people who rented the flats above the shops.

Nomusa-Dube said: “It is alleged that hijacked buildings are used to store and sell expired and counterfeit goods. The arrests of those involved in such illegal activities have confirmed the existence of an international criminal syndicate.

“Such unscrupulous elements are involved in cross-border crime. They have disregard for business regulations and have been found to be using fraudulent trading permits. Their businesses are not registered. They do not have identity documents.”

Last week, in a raid in the Durban CBD by Nomusa-Dube’s department, counterfeit condoms, expired chocolate, and other food products which expired in 2012 but were still for sale, were discovered.

A team from the department is on standby to investigate complaints regarding excessive pricing and violation of business regulations.

Email [email protected] or WhatsApp 0824580706 or 0823746660.

Daily News

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