SA cracks down on smuggling, fraud


6 August 2013

South African Revenue Service (Sars) customs officials seized drugs worth over R60-million that passengers either tried to bring in or take out of the country at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg in July.

“In the period from 1 to 31 July 2013, Sars customs teams have prevented just over 20 kilos of cocaine valued at almost R19-million, and almost 150 kilos of tik valued at R42.6-million, from entering the country,” Sars said in an update on its operations to combat crimes such as smuggling, fraud and abuse of the tax system.

“In all cases, the drugs seized and the individuals involved were handed over to the South African Police Service for further action.

“The drugs were seized in 7 different interventions,” Sars said.

Seven people, including Sars employees, were also charged for fraud and sentenced to a jail sentence in the same period.

This included Abel Mothoa – who was sentenced to five years direct imprisonment at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on 1 July 2013 – for tax fraud after being arrested in 2012, when he filed returns for clients while he was not a registered tax practitioner.

Former Sars employee, Ansie Naude, together with a son and Adriaan Fourie were each sentenced to 30 months in jail, suspended for five years, after being found guilty of fraud in April 2013 at the Roodepoort Regional Court.

Imraan Khan was found guilty of money laundering and fraud;because he is a terminally ill patient, his 5 year direct prison sentence was suspended for five years.

A fraudulent tax return of R5.62-million had been paid into his bank account. Sars has already recovered R5.49-million and aims to approach the courts to recover the remaining R123 687.