Police Recover Fake Items at Chinatown

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By Francis Mukuzunga Police carried out a surprise raid over the weekend at Windhoek’s Chinatown section as part of the ongoing ‘Operation Black September’ and confiscated goods believed to have been brought into the country illegally. The goods were found mostly at Chinese shops and, in the process, five illegal immigrants were arrested. The recovered goods were displayed at the Khomas Regional headquarters on Monday afternoon, where a press briefing was also conducted by the Head of the Police Public Relations Department, Chief Inspector Angula Amulungu. The items include 35 sewing machines, four industrial machines, 45 labelled DVD covers, 600 pirate DVDs, counterfeit sports items and banned skin-lightening creams. Chief Inspector Amulungu told the briefing that the raid was made by police in conjunction with the Department of Customs and Excise, and Immigration. He said the offenders would be charged under the Customs Act, Chapter 20: 1998 and the Copyright Act 86: 1994. Chief Inspector Amulungu also told the briefing that police would leave no stone unturned over such criminal activities and that all recovered goods would be destroyed at the conclusion of the cases. Over the past few years, there has been an influx of fake labelled and counterfeit goods from the Far East on the local market. The goods are said to have been sold at far cheaper prices in the Chinese shops than at conventional outlets. The goods are believed to have found their way into the country through illegal entry points. Unconfirmed reports have suggested that some corrupt employees of certain government departments might have facilitated the illegal entry of the goods. Public Relations Officer for the Department of Customs and Excise, Bevan Simataa, told the briefing that the department was doing all it could to curb the illegal entry of undeclared goods. Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Amulungu has warned that police would step up the operation to include other areas. He also cautioned members of the public against illegal or careless possession of firearms. He further warned the public that they should always have their drivers licences in their possession while driving.