Last week, Thursday and Friday, the Commercial Crime Unit of the Hawks in Limpopo and Gauteng embarked on a two-day intelligence-driven sting operation. The aim of these operations was to clean out counterfeit clothes from retail shelves.
The operation in Limpopo was conducted in Tzaneen and Polokwane where 15 shops were raided. A total of 1 827 items of fake designer clothes to the value of R335 000, 00 was seized.
After being warned, the shop owners voluntarily surrendered the items to the police and were not arrested.
In Gauteng, the Organised Crime Unit of the Vaal Rand, together with the Tactical Response Team and clothing brand officials in Delverst Street, Johannesburg Central, conducted the operation. Ten Ethiopian men were arrested and counterfeit goods, including popular brands to the value of R500 000, 00, were seized. They were also released on warning after the goods were surrendered voluntarily.
“We are aware that the guys we closed on now are small business owners who just want to make quick cash. We have intensified our investigation into the suppliers of these counterfeits goods,” said Head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major General Shadrack Sibiya.
Investigations are continuing.