FOUR foreign men were arrested for selling fake branded clothes in Matatiele town last week, during an unexpected operation by the Hawks from Mthatha and the SAPS from Aliwal North and Matatiele.
Dawit Dembel (27), Barham Thiam (44), Matar Thiam (28) and Ousmane Thiam (38) paid an admission of guilt fee of R1 000 each.
The operation took place over March 14 and 15, and was meant to continue until March 16. However, the police found that shops were closed on the last day. “Matatiele is not a small town, therefore it was not easy for police to search all the shops at one time. They had to search one street at a time. They found no one in the shops in some streets,” said SAPS spokesperson Captain Raphael Motloung.
He added that stores selling fake branded clothing is not new to the town, and the problem is growing rapidly.
Representatives from certain brand houses were present during the operation and watched SAPS confiscate the clothes and destroy them. The representatives confirmed that the clothes were not their products.
Motloung said the estimated value of the confiscated clothes is between R80 000 and R100 000.