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A shoe-in: Police make R3m ‘illicit tekkies’ bust


Dec 12, 2021

“Illicit tekkies” is not a term we’re used to hearing when it comes to the police. Not drugs, not guns. This time, the South African Police Service is talking about illegal sneakers. Yes, as in shoes.

Illicit tekkies on the run

Police in Mpumalanga have arrested a 37-year-old man after he drove a truck full of illicit tekkies over the Lebombo Border into South Africa. The truck was packed with sneakers of all brands. And police estimate the total worth of the illegal shipment is around R3.8 million.

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“Members of the SAPS from Lebombo Border were on duty on the said day when they noticed a suspicious truck driven by a certain man. The truck was coming from Mozambique into the country and the members then conducted a search where they discovered various brands of sneakers starched inside. The man, who is a Zimbabwean National was then arrested and charged for possession of counterfeit goods.

Brigadier Selvy Mohlala

No tekkies, no cry

The man driving the truck will now appear at the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday. To make matters even worse for him, the truck he was driving is worth over R3.5 million.

Police have confiscated the truck and say it is likely linked to other crimes.

It seems it is well and truly the season of busts before the festive season. This week, SARS made headlines for seizing around R40 million worth of illegal cigarettes. On Saturday, the Pretoria Interpol branch even managed to nab an internationally wanted criminal.

One thing is certain, if you plan on buying sneakers for a Christmas present, you’re going to have to pay full price.

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