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S.African police confiscate fake rugby jerseys

Published on 18/08/2011

South African customs authorities on Thursday confiscated unofficial rugby jerseys worth 43 million rands ($6 million, four million euros) ahead of the 2011 World Cup which starts next month, an official said.

South African Revenue Service (SARS) spokesman Anton Fisher said 73,000 counterfeit jerseys were seized, of which 66,000 were branded with South African national rugby team logo, while the rest had local teams’ names.

The jerseys were found in Cleveland, east of Johannesburg.

“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,” he said.

The jerseys were already tagged for a leading sports shop and priced at 600 rands each, the normal price for authentic shirts.

He said with the rugby world cup running from September 9 to October 23 in New Zealand, authorities were expecting to see an increase in counterfeit goods as happened ahead of last year’s football world cup in South Africa.

Fisher said a man had been arrested and would be charged for making false declarations.

He said authorities did not want to reveal which country the jerseys came from.

South Africa passed a Counterfeit Goods Act in 1997 which allows for offenders to be jailed for up to three years.