Counterfeit detergent factory busted in South Africa

A factory making counterfeit washing powder has been taken offline by the authorities in South Africa, and a man taken into custody.

An operation led by South African Police Service's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) – commonly known as the Hawks – and specialist brand protection teams from Spoor & Fisher Attorneys swooped on the facility in Gauteng earlier this month, according to a report.

The company operating the large-scale facility in Selection Park, Springs, is suspected of infringing trademarks such as Unilever's Sunlight, Skip and Surf brands. Its activities were brought to light after investigators made test purchases of the detergent products.

Among the items seized in the action were a raw materials like chemicals, colourings and dyes, industrial-scale machinery including a sifting machine and weighing equipment, bulk unbranded washing powder and counterfeit labels, according to the report.

Detergent producers say there are potential risks associated with using counterfeits, including exposure to unknown chemicals that could be toxic or cause allergic reactions.

Criminal and civil action against the suspect is under way, says the news source, which cites DPCI spokesperson Lt-Col Philani Nkwalase. The value of the goods seized during the operation has not been determined.

Image by Frank Habel from Pixabay

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