Patrick Moeng and Beyers Theron of SARS in front of the machine that crushed cars imported illegally into South Africa in Phoenix, on Friday. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency
Patrick Moeng and Beyers Theron of SARS in front of the machine that crushed cars imported illegally into South Africa in Phoenix, on Friday. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency
Dagga found in a roadblock near Tongaat.
Dagga found in a roadblock near Tongaat.
Suspect second hand clothing detected in the cargo section at King Shaka International Airport
Suspect second hand clothing detected in the cargo section at King Shaka International Airport
SARS Patrick Moeng and Beyers Theron at the vehicle crushing in Phoenix on Friday.
SARS Patrick Moeng and Beyers Theron at the vehicle crushing in Phoenix on Friday.
Cars being crushed in Phoenix on Friday
Cars being crushed in Phoenix on Friday

DURBAN - A number of illegal vehicles were crushed today as part of a South African Revenue Service (SARS) clampdown on non-compliance in various sectors.

This followed a high visibility two-day operation in Durban and surrounding areas to tackle illicit trade by a number of different authorities, including SARS, SAPS, Immigration, Cross Border Road Traffic Agency and Ethekwini Metro Police.

The main focus of the operation was to clamp down on non-compliance relating to import/export of goods, smuggling of illegal substances and the illegal storage and movement of second hand goods.

It included roadblocks in high risk areas, physical inspections of containers, cargo, bonded warehouses, patrols, vehicle checkpoints, gate checks and vessel rummages.

Successes for the operation included :

  • The detention of 260 second hand imported vehicles for further investigation into the validity of their importation.
  • A bust of suspected counterfeit clothing and textiles valued at approximately R6 million at King Shaka International Airport.
  • Compressed dagga (30kg) found packed in suitcases in the boot of a car which was stopped at a roadblock in Tongaat. It was positively identified by sniffer dogs and has an estimated value of R2 million.
  • A gate check at the Durban harbour which led to the discovery of suspected counterfeit nappies packed into a 40 foot container.

With regard to the crushing of vehicles which took place at Phoenix this morning, a SARS statement said, “The importation of second hand imported vehicles is restricted into South Africa. Previously these vehicles were sold at Customs auction for export, but these vehicles invariably found their way back to SA. This obviously has an impact on the local vehicle manufacturing industry which contributes about 7.5% to the country’s GDP. This important industry is hugely impacted by the unfair competition imposed by the influx of second hand vehicles.”

They added that 26 vehicles have been forfeited to the state this year with an estimated market value of almost R4 million.

Independent on Saturday