Hawks bust Nike counterfeit operation in KZN

By Mphathi Nxumalo And Nokubonga Mthethwa Time of article published Oct 21, 2016

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Durban - The Hawks have seized counterfeit branded goods valued at R5 million in a raid on a factory in Mobeni, Durban.

Hawks spokesman, Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, said officers found fake Nike and Guess products at the factory, but the owner was not there.

The raid was a joint operation by the Hawks Counterfeit Team, operational response service of the Durban Harbour anti-smuggling unit and Border Security Crime Intelligence Durban.

Mhlongo said the owner would be summonsed, and faced charges for Contravention of the Counterfeit Goods Act 37 of 1997.

Police said a Nike brand protection manager was at the scene to identify the goods

A Nike communications manager, Seruscka Naidoo, said: “Nike works very closely with law enforcement to eliminate the issue of counterfeit products, and has a zero tolerance policy against counterfeiting.

“Consumers who purchase counterfeit products are putting themselves at risk. Not only are they supporting criminal organisations and fuelling illegal trade, they are also purchasing counterfeit products that are potentially harmful, as these products are manufactured from sub-standard and toxic materials.”

She said they encouraged people to buy goods from authorised retailers.

“A phone call, message or e-mail to local law enforcement on suspicion of counterfeit products being produced or sold will alert all authorities to take necessary action against the criminals,” she said.

Bheko Madlala, spokesman for the KwaZulu-Natal economic development department, said production of illicit goods was bad for the province’s economy and had a negative effect on jobs.

“This does not only affect jobs, it also means that no tax returns are submitted. It means that our people, or whoever worked at the factory, had no secured future in terms of pension and other benefits gained by people who work in legitimate establishments,” said Madlala. He commended the Hawks for their work.

A Hawks search and seizure operation at the Durban harbour in July netted more than R41 million in counterfeit goods.

One of the machines used in the manufacturing of counterfeit goods at a factory in Mobeni, Durban. The factory was raided by the Hawks.

Some of the R5 million in counterfeit goods seized in Mobeni on Wednesday.

Daily News

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