Potchefstroom: Vigilance displayed by South African Police Service (SAPS) members at Kopfontein Port of Entry led to the arrest of a 42-year-old Botswana national for allegedly smuggling of R17 Million worth of counterfeit goods into the country.

It is alleged that on Tuesday, 11 September, at about 22:15, a truck arrived at the border’s searching point. According to information received, the member who was on duty went to notify customs officials about the truck. The member realised when he returned that the truck driver drove off without permission and a chase ensued. The truck was stopped about two kilometres from the border and the driver was redirected back to the Kopfontein Port of Entry for further verification of goods that were in transit.

Upon searching the truck, it was discovered that two trailers were loaded with 200 boxes of counterfeit footwear with an estimated value of R17 Million. Preliminary investigation revealed that the driver only declared and produced manifesto for can lids that he alleged to be transporting. The authenticity of the goods was verified and were declared counterfeit. A case of smuggling of counterfeit goods was registered.

The suspect is expected to appear before the Lehurutshe Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 13 September 2018, on a charge of smuggling of counterfeit goods.

The North West Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Ryno Naidoo applauded the members for being vigilant and for ensuring that the market for counterfeit goods as well as transnational crime is being dealt a blow. He said that it cannot be allowed that our Ports of Entry are seen as places where criminals do as they please. He said further that counterfeit goods are taking a lot from our economy and our members will go all the way to apprehend those who think they can easily transport illegal goods through this province.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) is investigating the case.

Source: South African Police Service