Businessman accused of selling fake iPhones arrested at OR Tambo International Airport

The new iPhone 15 range.Picture: Supplied/Apple

The new iPhone 15 range.Picture: Supplied/Apple

Published Nov 19, 2023


An Eastern Cape businessman has been arrested for allegedly selling counterfeit Apple iPhones. He was arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport while allegedly trying to flee the country.

Acting on a warrant of arrest, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (known as Hawks) and the OR Tambo Border Police arrested 33-year-old Muhammad Sajid at the OR Tambo International Airport.

According to provincial Hawks spokesperson Warrant-Officer Ndiphiwe Mhlakuvana, Sajid was arrested on Friday as he was about to flee the country.

Explaining the charges, Mhlakuvana said it is alleged that Spoor and Fisher Attorneys who act in trademark related matters as well as anti-counterfeiting, reportedly received a complaint indicating that possible counterfeit Apple iPhone goods were being sold at Universal Cellular shop in Gqeberha.

“Further allegations revealed that the law-firm surveilled the cellular shop to ascertain the allegations.

“The reports indicated that the representative from attorneys allegedly purchased the items and analysed them and were proved to be counterfeited.

“The lawyers further reportedly conducted the examination on items representing Apple Incorporate company that is situated in United States of America.”

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

“On 1 March 2023, the investigation team of the Hawks applied for a search warrant which was authorised and executed by the investigating team at Sajid’s shop.

“Upon searching, the team found and seized 46 counterfeit iPhones as well as nine iPhone chargers from Sajid’s premises.”

Mhlakuvana said Sajid was arrested and appeared in court the same day.

“He was released on a warning, but absconded all his numerous court appearances until his warrant of arrest was issued.”

Sajid was arrested on Friday and appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s court and has been remanded in custody.

Mhlakuvana is a prisoner in-transit to Gqeberha and will appear in the Gqeberha Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

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