SARS Enforcement and Customs Operations for December 2012
Pretoria, 15 January 2012 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is providing an update to the media and the public on its operations to combat crimes such as smuggling, fraud and abuse of the tax system for the month of December 2012.
The aim is to inform the public about the work SARS’ Customs and Enforcement teams do on a daily basis, to provide an indication of the prevalence of tax and customs-related offences in South Africa, and to illustrate the support SARS provides to other law enforcement agencies.
Interventions to combat Fraud and Corruption
SARS will continue to combat any form of corruption, fraud and abuse of the tax system. The following cases can be reported for December 2012:
1. As reported previously, a former SARS employee, Mr AF Snyman, appeared initially in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on 13 November 2012 on fraud charges. He pleaded guilty on 4 December 2012 to 174 counts of theft. The case has been remanded until 25th February for sentencing, and the suspect is out on bail of R30 000.
2. On 3 December 2012, a former SARS employee, Mr D Dube, appeared in the Alberton Magistrates Court on 7 charges of fraud, theft and contravention of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act. Mr Dube pleaded guilty to all 7 charges, and was sentenced to a R3000-00 fine or 6 months imprisonment wholly suspended for 3 years. He must also repay SARS the amount of R4970-09 that he received as a result of submitting fraudulent tax returns.
3. A former SARS employee, Ms Z Jodwana, appeared in the Mthatha Regional Court on 14 December 2012 to be sentenced on corruption charges. The charges related to her demanding R7 500-00 from a taxpayer in order to assist him with resolving a problem. She was sentenced to 3 years in jail wholly suspended for 5 years on condition that she is not convicted on another corruption charge in that period. She must also pay back the money she extorted from the taxpayer.
In the period from 1 to 31 December 2012, SARS Customs teams have:
1. Prevented almost 26 kilos of cocaine valued at just over R7 million from entering the country. In all cases, the drugs seized and the individuals involved were handed over to the SAPS at OR Tambo International for further action. The cocaine was seized in 14 different interventions, which included:
a. 4.5kg hidden in plastic tubes inside luggage, and 1.1kg concealed in a false compartment in luggage – the latter was identified as needing further search by SARS Drug Detector Dog “April”.
b. Almost 5kg found in two abandoned “body wraps” on board inbound flights after passengers had disembarked. 3.6kg of that was found as a result of the work of SARS Drug Detector Dog “Declan”.
c. 4 individual cases of drugs being concealed on a passenger’s body, underneath their clothes, in “body wraps”. These seizures ranged from 1.8kg to 2.2kg.
d. 5 separate cases of internal concealment of cocaine, with amounts ranging from 0.8kg to 1.8kg.
2. Stopped 6984 “Viagra” tablets, valued at over R698 400 coming through the ports of entry (mainly sent in parcels from overseas to South African addresses).
3. Prevented the following from leaving the country:
a. Parcels to addresses in the USA and UK containing “cashiers cheques” valued at almost R12 million. These were handed over to the SA Reserve Bank for further investigation
b. 150kg compressed dagga, valued at R1.5 million, being shipped form Johannesburg to London.
c. Two South African visas concealed in documents being couriered to Nairobi, Kenya. They have been handed to Immigration officials for further investigation.
4. Seized a number of other items coming into the country, including 30 Zimbabwean passports which were found concealed in the spare tyre of a bus entering South Africa at the Beit Bridge border post. They were handed over to Home Affairs for further investigation.
Publication date: 16 January 2013