Sole Searching: Thousands of Counterfeit Sneakers Seized By South African Police
Thanks to the efforts of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), consumers can rest easy. The fancy Adidas and swanky Nikes they’re wearing on their feet are most likely the real deal, because thousands of fake tennis shoes were recently seized by the organization.
According to South African news site, The Citizen, SARS agents were doing routine customs inspections at the Lebombo border post in Mpumalanga, near Swaziland and Mozambique. When they searched a truck headed into South Africa, they soon uncovered a whopping 30,000 pairs of counterfeit tennis shoes destined for sale in South Africa.
The customs agents seized the counterfeit cargo, which included 20,164 pairs of Adidas, 5,077 Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, 3,627 Nikes, 389 Air Jordans, 39 Vans, and just eight pairs of Pumas. It’s estimated that the fake goods would be worth over $1,400,000 USD (23,443,200 in South African Rand) if sold to consumers.
Counterfeit products may cost the global economy up to $250 billion a year, according to some estimates. While some consumers feel like buying fake designer goods is a victimless crime, there is a great deal of evidence showing that fake products like tennis shoes and handbags support child labor and can be used to fund terrorist organizations, something INTERPOL warned everyone about back in 2003.