Fake sex pills among goods worth millions seized

2012-05-18 00:00

IF Pietermaritzburg women find their partners unresponsive in the bedroom in coming weeks, they will know who to blame.

The police tactical response team and South African Revenue Services (SARS) officials raided three homes in Mountain Rise yesterday and seized a range of counterfeit goods, including sexual stimulants, with a street value of R3 million.

Five men thought to be operating as a syndicate were arrested in the operation, including one renting a cottage on Eagle Road.

One of the owners of the house, who asked not to be identified, said she was called at work by her mother, who said that police were swarming over their wall.

She rushed home to find several police cars parked outside, while heavily armed officers were removing goods from the cottage on the premises.

She told The Witness that the suspect had rented the building for two months.

“We didn’t suspect anything. He was normal. He’d leave the house at 7.30 am and come back at 7.30 pm. He looks decent,” said the woman.

Her 74-year-old mother, too scared to speak, watched as police marched up and down her driveway carrying boxes filled with counterfeit goods.

They included cigarettes, chewing tobacco, skin lightening creams, and sexual stimulants.

In addition to goods worth about R900 000, the officers seized the man’s two vehicles.

Next to be raided was a double-storey house where more than 50 boxes of counterfeit cigarettes were found.

A man clad in pyjamas was arrested, despite his plea that “I don’t live here”.

The goods seized amounted to R1,75 million.

Three other men were later arrested with smaller quantities of counterfeit goods in the same suburb.

Two other vehicles were seized.

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan said yesterday’s arrests were the tip of the iceberg as the syndicate was thought to be “huge”.

“We’ll continue cleaning up the city until the trade in counterfeit goods stops,” she added.

Jeevan said the fake cigarettes were generally sold to unlicensed dealers.

The five men arrested will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on charges of possession and dealing in counterfeit goods.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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