IN PICTURES | R67m worth of counterfeit goods recovered in KZN bust

Police search containers at a business premises in Pinetown.
Police search containers at a business premises in Pinetown.
Image: Supplied

An estimated R67m worth of counterfeit goods, from sports shoes to skin-lightening creams, have been recovered at a business premises in Westmead, Pinetown. 

Metro police spokesperson Senior Supt Parboo Sewpersadh said an intelligence-driven operation was conducted last week by the SAPS' crime intelligence commercial and financial unit and Queensburgh metro police after information was received about illegal migrants at a business premises in Westmead.

“Upon entering the premises, four foreign nationals were questioned and asked to produce their identification documents, which they did not have.  The manageress of the company said  the men did have legal paperwork, copies of which were filed in an office that had been locked by the owner."

Sewpersadh said the building was searched, with the manageress's permission.

“While doing so the operational team noticed boxes with Okapi knives at the back of the warehouse. The brand investigators were then contacted to verify if it was legal stock.”

He said the investigators confirmed the stock was counterfeit, which led the operational team to question the manageress about the origins of the stock. She said it was from China.

“All the necessary authorities were then contacted to identify any other counterfeit or illicit goods which may have been in the warehouse or in the containers.”

Sewpersadh said a search of the warehouse uncovered other items. 

Skin-lightening creams, counterfeit clothing, Unilever-branded boxes, Okapi knives and Kiwi polish were recovered, he said.

Sewpersadh said the estimated value of the goods was expected to increase, as a few other containers were destined for the company and would be seized upon arrival in the country.  

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