Counterfeit sneakers worth R8.7 million were seized at the Lebombo border post in Mpumalanga, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said.
A total of 9 085 pairs of ‘Adidas’-branded sneakers and 1 850 pairs of ‘Nike’-branded sneakers were discovered in a white truck entering South Africa from Mozambique at 1am on 26 December.
In a statement on 29 December, SARS said the truck driver ignored requests from Customs officials to stop at the port check point. Custom officials identified the truck as having been detained in July this year with a consignment of clothing.
“SARS Customs and South African Police Service (SAPS) officials pursued the vehicle and stopped it outside the port area. The male driver fled on foot. No arrests were made as yet,” said the revenue service.
The truck was escorted to the State warehouse where the consignment was detained for counting of sneakers. Brand holders within South Africa will be required to do an authentication process.
“Contravention of the Customs & Excise Act, Counterfeit Act and Criminal Procedures Act is being investigated.”
“SARS expressed its gratitude to Customs staff deployed at the respective ports of entry during the festive period as well as other law enforcement agencies,” it said.
The revenue service said custom officials are amongst the staff that are on duty throughout the December holiday period.
“They are required to remain vigilant and committed at all times. This bust demonstrates the consistence of our Customs team members who continually make SARS proud. SARS thanks other law enforcement agencies at the respective ports for their cooperation and support.