South African customs authorities confiscated R43 million worth of unofficial rugby jerseys on Thursday.
South African Revenue Service (SARS) spokesman Anton Fisher confirmed that 73 000 counterfeit jerseys, of which 66 000 were branded with the South African national rugby team logo while the rest had local teams’ names, were found in a container in Cleveland, east of Johannesburg. The jerseys were already tagged with a price of R600 for a leading sports shop.
‘Acting on a tip-off, SARS customs officials and police found a container with the suspected illegally imported goods being offloaded earlier this week,’ said Fisher. ‘The contents of the container had been falsely declared as mannequins.’
A man has been arrested and will be charged for making false declarations. Counterfeit offenders can spend up to three years in jail. SARS didn’t want to reveal which country the jerseys came from.
Fisher added that with the Rugby World Cup running from 9 September to 23 October in New Zealand, authorities were expecting to see an increase in counterfeit goods like it happened ahead of last year’s Soccer World Cup in South Africa.