Customs destroy N.dollars 20 million worth of booze at Walvis Bay

24 Oct 2017 14:40pm
WALVIS BAY, 24 OCT (NAMPA) - The Directorate of Customs and Excise on Tuesday destroyed over 95 000 bottles of counterfeit alcohol worth about N.dollars 20 million at Walvis Bay.
The Johnnie Walker Red and Black whiskey as well as Smirnoff Vodka is suspected to have been in transit from America through South Africa and Namibia to Zambia.
The alcohol was put into a hole at the dumpsite and a bulldozer squashed it.
It was confiscated from Salvino Del Bene a South African company operating in Namibia.
Briefing the media, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Customs and Excise central region in the Ministry of Finance, Tilya Thandi Hambira said the alcohol was confiscated from Salvino Del Bene after it was detected through a special operation.
She said the investigators got wind of these goods before they reached Namibia and kept an eye on the consignment.
“An internal investigation is underway to determine how such counterfeit alcohol was cleared into Namibia. Whoever will be found of doing it deliberately will be charged,” said Hambira.
Counterfeit goods can be detected by looking at the brand watermarks and serial numbers which are not authentic.
Hambira said such counterfeit goods are not only bad for business but also a health hazard to consumers.
She said when people drink such alcohol they get sick because the ingredients are not approved for human consumption.
Hambira confirmed that an internal investigation is underway to determine which customs officials were involved in the clearing of such goods and action will be taken should it be found that they knew they were fake.
“The owners of these counterfeit products will now feel the big financial loss which I hope serves as a lesson.”
She said those who bring in counterfeit goods should be warned that they will feel the full wrath of the law.
On his part, Paul Ramara, the attorney for Diageo a South African company which owns the two brands, Smirnoff and John Walker said he was happy that Namibian Customs officials confiscated the fake goods.
“We are delighted that the alcohol will be destroyed, and the matter will come to an end.”