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Somali nationals not arrested at counterfeit factory in SA

This article is more than 5 years old

UPDATE: This spot check was updated to include new information from South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority.

Viral social media posts have linked Somali immigrants in South Africa to a counterfeit goods factory in the country.

“Somali shops in the townships are literally killing poor black ppl [sic] with these fake homemade products,” a user posted on Twitter.

The message, accompanied by images of machinery and packaging supplies, has been shared more than 1,600 times.

A viral Facebook post claimed that “Haartswater [sic] Police have uncovered a R 77 Million Somalian Factory which makes various FAKE GOODS from Yeast, Rice to Robertson Spices”. The post was shared over 12,500 times.

Where are these viral images from? And are Somali immigrants linked to a recent bust in the rural town of Hartswater?

Pictures are of counterfeit factory in Northern Cape

A Google reverse image search revealed that the pictures shared in the tweet were posted on Twitter by the South African Police Service on 11 July 2018.

They show a raid on a counterfeit goods factory in Hartswater in the Northern Cape province.

“Police found goods of well-known branded spices, baking powder, instant yeast, sanitary towels, shoe polish and other counterfeit items,” a police statement said.

“Police also confiscated the machinery used for the alleged manufacturing and packaging of the goods.”

Six Chinese nationals arrested

Six people were arrested by the police. The National Prosecuting Authority’s acting communication manager for the Northern Cape, Phaladi Shuping, told Africa Check that the suspects were not Somali nationals.

"I have just confirmed with the prosecutor," said Shuping. "Six Chinese nationals have been arrested for their alleged involvement in a factory producing counterfeit goods in Hartwater." - Kate Wilkinson (01/08/2018 )


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