Dogs give SARS a R3m Christmas gift by breaking up possible counterfeit shoes

SARS customs officers have seized several million worth of counterfeit goods in recent months.


While most South Africans are taking a break, completely oblivious to the opportunistic crimes at our borders, the brave little sniffer dogs were hard at work at the Lebombo border post. They managed to give their handlers an early Christmas present: a R3-million counterfeiting bust.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) seized suspected counterfeit shoes with an estimated value of R3 million last weekend. The collector has to thank the Customs Detector Dog Unit (DDU).

The dogs helped SARS officers search for a truck with two trailers entering South Africa at the Lebombo border post with Mozambique. They found 5,237 pairs of sneakers and sandals of various brands, loaded into the back of the truck’s trailers.

The shoes have been handed over to the South African state customs warehouse for further processing. SARS is also liaising with the companies that own the brands found on the truck to confirm the authenticity of the items, but believe they are counterfeit.

“Legal production of clothing and textile industry in the country needs to be supported, and SARS has shown once again that it is playing its part in encouraging industrial growth and job creation,” said SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

He added that SARS is determined to make breaking South African customs difficult and costly for anyone who breaks the law.

In late October, SARS reported seizing millions of rand worth of illegal or illicit goods in several joint raids over the past few months. He led an intelligence-driven operation with his own enforcement teams and those of the SA Police Service.

Operations targeting cross-border smuggling and non-compliance in the cigarette and tobacco industry found raw tobacco, allegedly imported from Zimbabwe, cartons of illegally imported cigarettes and face creams, narcotics and 18 men hidden in the fake compartment of a truck who was trying to enter SA illegally. in an incident.

It also found illicit alcohol, liquor containers, distillery machinery and suspected contraband clothing, textiles, leather and footwear, among other things.

“While we have made it easy and simple to comply, we will not tolerate criminals and syndicates who impede our country’s economic prosperity and the well-being of our citizens,” he said.

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