Operation Fiela sweeps through CT station deck

Police confiscated counterfeit goods, from stalls, which vendors say is worth almost R100,000.

FILE: Officers swept through several stalls above the train station today as part of their searches. Picture: Saps.

CAPE TOWN - Operation Fiela shifted to top gear at the Cape Town station deck, where police on Thursday conducted raids on counterfeit goods.

Officers swept through several stalls above the train station as part of their searches.

Vendors on the deck said they seized stock worth around R100,000.

It was business as usual on the bustling station deck later in the afternoon, where vendors tried to make a quick sale.

There was little sign of the earlier panic when South African Police Service officers, including members of the border police unit, ransacked stalls in search of counterfeit stock.

But at stall 82, one Nigerian vendor broke down as he tried to reorganise what was left of his stock.

He said police confiscated more than R53,000 in merchandise earlier in the day.

"The stuff I am selling is not the original, it's [from] China. They packed all my stuff, [they took] everything. I started crying, begging them, they said 'no'. I asked them to give me papers showing that they are from Sars."

Still visibly shaken, the man explained he still could not believe the timing of the raid, just a week ahead of Christmas.

'FIELA DOESN'T SWEEP CLEAN'

At the same time, vendors say police have failed to crack down on drug dealers infiltrating the precinct.

Dozens of police officers, including members of the border police unit participated in the raids.

But some vendors say officers have deliberately over-looked the long-running drug problem at the station.

"There are people selling drugs and stuff like that; why don't they target them? They just chase them like wild chickens around here. They don't really come down hard on them."