South African Revenue Service (Sars) customs has seized pairs of suspected fake sneakers worth R8,7 million at the Lebombo Border Post.
Sars officials were able to seize up to 9 085 pairs of fake Adidas shoes and 1 850 Nikes after they caught a white truck that entering South Africa from Mozambique at the Lebombo border post at 1am on Monday.
Sars officials reportedly became suspicious after a truck driver ignored their requests to stop at the port check point on Monday.
The Customs officials said they identified the truck as having been previously detained within the year with a consignment of clothing.
The officials chased after the truck and were able to stop it, though the truck driver escaped.
“The truck has been detained and escorted to the state’s warehouse where the consignment was detained for counting of the sneakers. Brand holders within south Africa will be required to do an identification process and have been contacted to do so.” said Sars’ Janine Mqulwana who also revealed that they found in the truck, 9,085 pairs of Adidas branded sneakers and 1,850 pairs of Nike branded sneakers.
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.
‘Customs officials are amongst the staff that are on duty throughout the December holiday period and 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 supports.
Similarly, medical experts at Tygerberg Hospital have called for an intensified fight against crystal methamphetamine abuse.
Data released by the institution’s neonatal intensive care unit indicates a minimum of 6% of pregnant women in the Western Cape abuse methamphetamine during pregnancy.
Doctors say this trend puts unnecessary pressure on the public health sector as methamphetamine abuse can be prevented.
Experts at Tygerberg Hospital say premature birth in the Western Cape ranges between 13 and 22% per annum. They also added that a major contributor to this is pregnant mothers being hooked on crystal methamphetamine.
Child and adolescent psychiatrist at Stellenbosch University Dr Anusha Lachman says programmes to curb this trend should be streamlined in order to have a significant impact.
“You can’t just address the addiction while not dealing with the poverty, the exposure to violence and the trauma which are factors as to why people abuse substances.” Lachman says.