Gqeberha shop owner arrested while ‘trying to flee country’

Muhammad Sajid, 33, was rearrested on Friday after failing to appear in court
BACK IN CUSTODY: Muhammad Sajid, 33, was rearrested on Friday after failing to appear in court

A Gqeberha shop owner, charged with selling counterfeit goods, was rearrested at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport while allegedly trying to flee the country. 

The Gqeberha-based serious commercial crime investigation team of the Hawks, with OR Tambo border police, arrested Muhammad Sajid, 33, on Friday.

According to police spokesperson Warrant-Officer Ndiphiwe Mhlakuvana, the investigation of Sajid started in January when Spoor and Fisher Attorneys, who act in trade mark-related matters, as well as anti-counterfeiting, received a complaint indicating that possibly fake Apple iPhone goods were being sold at the Universal Cellular shop.

A representative from the firm went to purchase the items and analysed them, finding them to to be counterfeit.

On February 16, the matter was officially reported to the Hawks.

On March 1, the Hawks investigation team applied for a search warrant, which was authorised and executed at Sajids store.

Upon searching the shop, the team had found and seized 46 counterfeit iPhones and nine iPhone chargers worth an estimated R45,000, Mhlakuvana said.

Sajid was arrested in his cellphone shop on March 8.

He made his first court appearance the same day and was released on a warning.

However, he failed to appear at all his subsequent court appearances and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

On Friday, Sajid was finally rearrested by the investigation team of the Hawks and border police at OR Tambo as he was allegedly about to escape the country.

He appeared in the Kempton Park magistrate’s court and was remanded.

He will be transported under police guard to Gqeberha and will appear in the Gqeberha magistrate’s court on Monday.



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