CAPE TOWN – Businesses selling counterfeit products were dealt with a big blow when police arrived unannounced in Bellville this morning.
A joint crime prevention operation was conducted this morning in the Bellville CBD comprising SAPS units, Metro Police, City of Cape Town Law Enforcement and counterfeit goods officials.
“The operation resulted in the arrest of 14 suspects on various charges such as the possession of suspected stolen goods, possession of drugs, possession of dangerous weapons and theft out of motor vehicles,” said police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut.
Car radios, knives and an assortment of drugs were confiscated as well as counterfeit tobacco paraphernalia and sanitary pads valued at an estimated value of R950 000.
Bellville CBD is home to hundreds foreign-owned shops and Anelisa Madikane, who witnessed the raids, says it was time the police acted. “Counterfeit products affect the economy as there is no tax charged by SARS on them. I noticed sanitary pads confiscated by police and that is worrisome as it puts thousands of women’s lives at risk. I upload the work of all the law enforcement officials involved and I trust that these raids will be frequent.”
In 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised to clamp down on counterfeit products entering the country. He said at the time that counterfeit goods are strangling the already strained local economy. He was addressing the National Congress of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Union when he made the promise. “When we allow illicit goods to come it undermines you, it undercuts you and it destroys your job,” he said at the time. This has proven to be a monumental task as thousands, if not millions, of counterfeit goods still make their way to South Africa.
Two vehicle checkpoints held in the area also led to the admission of guilt fines to the tune of R159 000, issued for traffic violations. Once charged, the 12 male suspects and two females are expected to make their court appearances in Bellville.