Search and seizure warrants were executed at the Oriental City along the Old Johannesburg Road in Centurion, and at Queens Corner Shopping Centre in Queenswood in Tshwane and law enforcement officials seized packages of counterfeit Lego products.
The operation was conducted in terms of South Africa’s Counterfeit Goods Act on Tuesday, according the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) spokesperson, Colonel Katlego Mogale.
“The targeted operation was conducted in terms of the Counterfeit Goods Act following a complaint that was received implicating the well-known business premises apparently contravening the Act in respect of selling or distributing counterfeit Lego products,” Mogale said.
“It is reported that the identified premises have been on the authorities' radar for a while, culminating in fact finding, operation which involved members from the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law, Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation, brand representatives and members of Hawks' Tactical Operations Management Section (TOMS).”
During the operation, toys and electronic games, equipment, computer games bearing Lego trademarks were found and confiscated from the premises display.
On further investigations, Mogale said multiple boxes of the same products packed on different isles bearing Lego trademark were also seized.
“Approximately 2,100 units were seized to an estimated value of R 850,000,” she said.
“Criminal and civil proceedings are to be instituted against the responsible businesses as well as their respective owners.”
On Thursday, IOL reported that Scores of people were arrested in and around Pretoria as Gauteng police commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela led police in the Operation Shanela anti-crime blitz, supported by different law enforcement departments.
Based on intelligence information, the police raided a house in Queenswood, not far from the Union Buildings, where cultivation of the so-called ‘magic mushrooms’ was uncovered.
“This house is the primary scene, and there is a secondary scene. Here is where they are cultivating, processing and so forth,” said Mawela who was flanked by senior Gauteng police officers including Gauteng's deputy provincial police commissioner responsible for policing, Major General Tommy Mthombeni and the Tshwane District Commissioner, Major General Azwinndini Nengovhela.
“At the secondary scene, that is where they are drying up and then they are distributing. What we found is what they call psycho-tropical mushroom, commonly known as the magic mushroom. It is prohibited in our country.”