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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Police recover fake clothing, watches and perfume worth R100 million in Belville

Police say the goods they recovered in the operation are valued at around R100 million in total. No arrests have been made yet.

Police recovered fake clothing, watches, perfume and other items valued in total at R100 million and seized 30 vehicles during an operation in Belville on Wednesday morning.

Spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said this follows efforts by police in the Western Cape to clamp down on the illegal trade of counterfeit goods in the province, and entire truckloads were confiscated during the integrated operation.

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“The multimillion-rand takedown operation between members of Saps, Customs and Excise and brand protectors from various popular products kicked off at around 11am with a search warrant at a shopping complex close to the Bellville Taxi Rank, where two similar operations have been conducted in the last six months,” he said.

“Upon the arrival of Saps, shopkeepers abandoned their stores and fled the scene, but this did not prevent the operation [from continuing].

Police seize counterfeit goods in Bellville. Photo: Saps/X

Provincial Commissioner thanks officers

“Although arrests are yet to be made, counterfeit goods valued at over R100 million as well as 30 vehicles which were used to store stock in the parking area were seized.”

He said the Provincial Commissioner of the Western Cape police, Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, who termed the trade of counterfeit goods as economic sabotage of the fiscus of the country, attended the crime scene.

This is to inspect the operation and express his appreciation towards the members of the team who ensured the successful removal of fake products from the streets of the province.

Police seize counterfeit goods in Bellville. Photo: Saps/X

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“He also issued a warning to building owners and landlords who are well aware of the illegal activities on their premises that they are also in the sights of Saps.”

The investigation is still underway, and the value of the confiscated goods could change, Traut added. 

Police seize counterfeit goods in Bellville. Photo: Saps/X

Contact crimes increasing

The crime statistics for the second quarter of the year, revealed last week, showed that there was an increase in attempted murder cases, with 6, 911 cases reported between 1 July and the end of September 2023—756 more than the same period last year.

Contact crimes such as sexual offences, attempted murder, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances were also on the rise.

ALSO READ: Crime stats: 6,911 people survived murder attempts between July and September

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Crime fake South African Police Service (SAPS)

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