Pretoria, 12 October 2018 – Earlier today, two South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs officers were arrested together with a member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) at Skilpdashek border post during a sting operation. The three officials are to be charged for various offences in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, as well as for corruption.
In August this year, Patrick Moeng: Executive for Customs Investigations was informed that a member of SAPS had approached Customs officials at Skilpadshek border post to fraudulently process export documents for fuel that was supposedly exported by a tanker across the said border post.
Subsequent investigations into the matter found that no such fuel was exported, and no tankers crossed the border. The Hawks, together with the SARS Criminal Investigation and Fraud Investigation units, were then approached to further investigate, and this led to the arrest of the two Customs officials and a policeman earlier today.
As a result of this intense investigation, 16 shipments of fuel that had been fraudulently processed for export have been identified thus far. The trio had connived to mark this fuel as for export, only to discover it was sold on the local market.
The estimated revenue that would have been potentially lost to SARS as a result of this corrupt activity is approximately R 3 360 717.03, including the various duties and levies.
The two Customs officials and policeman from Skilpadshek are expected to appear in the Lehurutshe magistrates’ court in the North West Province on Monday, 15 October 2018.