The South African Police Service (SAPS) arrested two suspects who are believed to be the masterminds behind the operation of a R30 million illegal liquor manufacturing warehouse syndicate in Wilgepark, Harrismith.
On Wednesday, at about 7pm, the Provincial Organised Crime Unit embarked on a joint operation with the Provincial Tracking and Tracing Team that led them to Harrismith, where two wanted male suspects aged 30 and 31 who are allegedly part of a syndicate accused of manufacturing and possession of counterfeit liquor were arrested.
The duo made their first court appearance on Thursday, September 21, 2023, at the Harrismith Magistrate Court.
The two are an addition to the seven arrested on May 27, 2023, after an illegal liquor manufacturing warehouse was discovered in Wilgepark, Harrismith.
“The suspected warehouse was allegedly equipped with labelling machines, packaging material, counterfeit liquor products, fraudulent labels, and other materials with an estimated value of about R30 million," said Sergeant Mahlomola Kareli, a police spokesperson.
Kareli further added that all the items were seized by a multidisciplinary approach team led by Harrismith Detectives, and seven suspects were arrested.
“The seven are facing charges of fraud, forgery, money laundering, the counterfeit goods act, customs, and excise act, among others. Additional charges may be added as the investigation unfolds,” Kareli said.
Kareli also confirmed that the two arrested suspects will appear in the Harrismith Magistrate Court for a formal bail application on September 28, 2023.