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19 December 2018 – SARS Customs busts equate to approximately R90 million

19 December 2018 – SARS Customs busts equate to approximately R90 million

Pretoria, 19 December 2018 – In two separate incidents, the South African Revenue Customs officials intercepted Acetanthranil – a substance used or linked to manufacturing Mandrax – that weighted 1600kg and another 1581kg, respectively, estimated at R90-million at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in the past two days.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) Forensic Services Laboratory (FSL) confirmed the substance with an estimated street value of R90 million rands.
SARS handed over the consignments to SAPS for further investigations.

In another incident at ORTIA on Friday last week, a consignment of 241 920 Sexual Enhancements Tablets, valued at R24 192 000.00, were intercepted during inspection.  The goods were handed over to Port Health for further investigation.

In Durban early last week, a foreign national who had offered a bribe of R200 000 to a SARS Customs officer appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court. The suspect had intended to use the bribe to have a detained truck and its load of alcohol, Customs & Excise Duties on the alcohol was R1 200 000.00, released.

At the time of the arrest, the suspect was in possession of a false invoice, alleging that the alcohol had been supplied by a Gauteng-based known liquor chain store.
Upon further enquiry, the suspect failed to provide a reasonable explanation or evidence of where the load of alcohol had been obtained. As a result, the officers issued the suspect with a Letter of Intent to seize both the truck and the load.

It must be stressed that while no country is immune to these crimes, SARS, as the agency responsible for revenue collection, will always be a target for criminals. Tackling corruption effectively is imperative for SARS as we continue on our journey to rebuild trust. As such, the Customs officer at Durban who refused the bribe is commended for having headed the call not to be corrupted.

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