Law enforcement agencies uncovered counterfeit goods worth R18m in Johannesburg’s inner city on Friday.
The goods were recovered in an operation by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, the South African Police Service, the provincial commercial crime unit, the Gauteng traffic police saturation Unit and the City’s group forensic investigation services unit.
“It is essential that we bring back the rule of law in our City and take it back from the criminal elements. I want to thank all the stakeholders involved for their commitment to ensuring Johannesburg residents are safe and protected from illegal activities,” City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said in a statement on Friday.
The counterfeit goods were recovered during an operation on Thursday called Buya Mthetho. The haul included watches, footwear and clothing items branded Adidas, Nike, Puma, All Star, Hubot, Tom Ford, Gucci, La Mitina and Paul and Shark.
The operation, which has been in place for a week, discovered R64m of counterfeit goods in total, as a well as a manufacturing house distributing illegal goods.
“At this warehouse, undocumented persons were also found – some of whom were believed to be held on the site against their will. Another group of undocumented persons working in a restaurant illegally were also found hiding underneath industrial stoves at the establishment,” Mashaba added.
Mashaba said the operation had found 32 undocumented persons and urged the Department of Home Affairs to intervene.
“It is essential that the national Department of Home Affairs finally takes action and ensures that those entering the country do so legally. Failure to do so indeed puts those persons at risk from exploitation, such as in the present circumstances,” he concluded.