Business along Haskins street in Francistown almost came to an abrupt stop Wednesday afternoon, as Chinese shops were raided for fake merchandise.
The police, Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) officials and representatives of sportswear labels from South Africa undertook the raid on the unsuspecting Chinese traders.
The raid which quickly swept through the city caught many Chinese owners off guard and resulted in over 28 clothing shops prematurely closing for business, leaving their customers stranded with limited shopping options.
Meanwhile Mimosa shop owner, his son and cousin have been thrown into police cells after assaulting police officers during the operation.
Members of the operation were seen seizing and loading green coloured sacks full of footwear and clothing into trucks which were parked nearby.
Efforts by this publication to get information on the type of clothing items and shoes were being confiscated proved futile as the Francistown district criminal investigation officer (CID) Detective Superintendent Thomas Junior Letebele was still busy with investigations.
“I cannot say anything at the moment. We are working within the realms of time in terms of investigation. I’m yet to carry out the interviews and establish facts, before I can speak to the media,” he said.
A shop assistant in one of the shops who preferred anonymity revealed that counterfeit sneakers, shoes and clothing with labels of Adidas, Nike, Converse and Puma had been impounded from the Chinese shops.
“ While we were still busy attending to clients, I heard my boss tell us to quickly close the shop and go home.
Because there was a raid going on and goods are being taken from shops,”said the young lady.
A small group of shop owners gathered and murmured with discontent outside the Francistown police station, but refused to comment.