An association of manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic drinks in South Africa has warned of possible circulation of counterfeit alcohol after armed robbers stormed a production facility and stole thousands of bottle caps.

The South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (Salba) believes the stolen bottle caps could be used to reseal branded bottles with counterfeit home-made alcohol and sold to the public.

The association said one of its members had reported the 30 December robbery at its facility in the port city of Durban.

Salba chairman, Sibani Mngadi, in a statement on Monday urged law enforcement agencies “to be rigorous in dealing with illegal alcohol sales and the production of counterfeit products”.

The government last week imposed a fresh ban on the sale of liquor restrictions that will be in place until mid-January.