Counterfeits saga rages on

The president of the official opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), McHenry Venaani has called for political dialogue following the Chinatown that transpired last resulting in the arrest of NEFF commissariat for economic emancipation, Michael Amushelelo.

In a statement over the weekend, Venaani said there was a very strong argument that Amushelelo was using when he went to shut Chinatown down.

“He is using a very strong argument saying if counterfeit products for Namibians are burned down how is it Chinatown and the whole Chinese business model that is based on counterfeit products globally and especially in third world countries is not affected. So we are saying the Prime minister of the Republic must call for an immediate meeting. A meeting with NAMRA, the Namibian Police and the political parties that are willing to come on board, so that we discuss this matter once and for all because this thing is rearing its ugly head and we know what happened in Tunisia. One action can burn the whole country and these actions, government didn’t think them through.

“Even if the law says you must burn counterfeit products, one has to apply the law judiciously. The same laws are required on Namibia to burn Ivory, but all of us are in agreement we can’t burn out ivory because it’s an economic resource. So there is a relevant argument that needs to be ventilated,” Venaani said.

The Namibia Revenue Authority (NamRA), this weekend also noted that in line with the Customs and Excise 1998 (Act No. 20 of 1998), specifically sections 97, 98 and 100 of the said Act, NamRA on 10 May 2022 destroyed counterfeit goods valued at over N$5 million. In terms of section 123 (1) (b) of this Act, the importation of counterfeit goods is prohibited in Namibia owing to copyrights infringements and in the interest of protecting society.

“The operation carried out was also consistent with international Instruments such as the agreement on trade-related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The counterfeit goods included branded items displaying several prominent clothing brands and ranged from clothes, shoes, perfumeries and bags. The destroyed goods were classified as counterfeit goods, meaning that they were manufactured or sold under another brand name without the brand owner’s authorization,” Namra said.

Further clarifying, the Authority said the destroyed good have been their warehouses for many years, while the latest were seized last year and therefore are not goods that have been recently confiscated.

“It is not true that the goods were predominantly confiscated from Namibians. While we will not divulge the nationality of those from whom the goods were seized, we can affirm that the majority of the goods were not confiscated from Namibian citizens. An unfortunate and baseless link has emerged between the destroyed goods and online purchases, otherwise loosely known as “order with me”.  Again, it is not correct to conclude or imply that the destroyed goods were necessarily intercepted online sales,” the Agency said.

NEFF president, Epafras Mukwiilongo was this week quoted saying that more stern measures to stand for the oppressed are coming including shutting down the border with South Africa.

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