Botswana national denied bail in R17m smuggling case
A 42-year-old Botswana man‚ who was arrested in the North West for allegedly smuggling R17-million worth of counterfeit goods into the country‚ was denied bail on Thursday.
According to police spokesperson Captain Sam Tselanyane‚ a truck arrived at the Kopfontein border‚ and an official at the vehicle search point left to alert other officials about its arrival. When the man returned to his post‚ the truck driver had driven off without permission.
A vehicle chase then 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‚” said Tselanyane.
A search was conducted and 200 boxes of counterfeit footwear‚ with an estimated value of R17-million‚ were discovered.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the driver only declared and produced a manifesto for can lids that he alleged to be transporting. The authenticity of the goods was verified and were declared as counterfeit. A case of smuggling of counterfeit goods was registered‚” he said.
Acting North West police commissioner Major-General Ryno Naidoo applauded officers for being vigilant. He said that counterfeit goods were already taking away a lot from the country’s economy and his officers would ensure that all those who transported illegal goods in the province would be apprehended.
The case is now being investigated by the Hawks.
The man has appeared at the Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court‚ where he was denied bail.