On the eve of International Customs Day investigators from the SARS Customs Anti-smuggling division made a significant breakthrough in the illicit trade of counterfeit goods when they confiscated a large number of counterfeit cigarettes, DVDs and computer games worth millions of rands during an operation on the East Rand.
Acting on information Customs officials sealed off about 130 storage units in an industrial area near Germiston. Upon inspection large quantities of contrabands were discovered including:
Had the goods not been detected it may have resulted in a potential revenue loss of R3.2 million in Value Added Tax to the fiscus. By 19:00 the evening SARS officials were still busy clearing the warehouses.
No suspects have been apprehended but arrests are imminent.
The huge quantity of counterfeit goods confiscated indicates the serious threat illegal trade poses to legitimate economic activity. On 26 January 2005 (tomorrow) South Africa, through SARS, and 163 members of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), will observe International Customs Day. The WCO has identified commercial fraud a serious concern for customs administrations around the world as it threatens the economic security of trade supply chains. Trade supply chains are at risk of being exploited by organised crime syndicates, rogue traders and must contend with the threat of international terror.
For more information please contact Sechaba Nkosi at (012) 422 5046 or 082 465 2901
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE