CAPE TOWN - During the time of lockdown, filled with regulations and restrictions, illicit trading has surged. Not just with the sale of prohibited items such as cigarettes and alcohol, but illegal and unregistered businesses and the sale of counterfeit goods contributes to the list of the illegal markets during the pandemic.
KwaZulu-Natal has taken the step to dent the influx in such illegal activities with a raid currently underway in Durban .
Nomusa Dube-Ncube, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs said in a statement released today, “This follows an avalanche of complaints and tip-offs in relation to the allegedly use of hijacked buildings to store and sell expired and counterfeit goods. This morning inspectors found a dead rat and expired food products.”
Thus far, inspectors closed down some of the businesses operating illegally. Dube-Ncube continued by saying “In addition, the arrests of those involved in such illegal activities have confirmed the existence of an international criminal syndicates. Such unscrupulous elements are involved in cross-border crime and have a disregard of business regulations.”
The illegally running businesses have been found using fraudulent trading permits. As the criminals do not have identity documents the businesses were also unregistered.
Dube-Ncube said “It should be remembered that in one of our raids we discovered counterfeit condoms, expired chocolate and other food products which expired in 2012 but still sold to unsuspecting consumers.”
The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs showed gratitude towards inspectors from “Department of Labour and Employment, Home Affairs Immigration Unit, Durban Metro, Crime Intelligence and all other law enforcement agencies for their selfless service to this nation.” and points out the assistance from SARS has strengthened their efforts.
Officials within the department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs are on standby for further investigations. If you have any complaints regarding excessive pricing and violation of business regulations, please contact them on:
Email: [email protected]
Whatsapp: 082 458 0706 or 082 374 6660
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter : @sacoronamonitor