8 December 2021 – The South African Revenue Service Commissioner, Mr Edward Kieswetter, welcomed a 10-year prison sentence imposed on the Director of Oakbay Trading Mr DP Naik. Mr Naik was convicted for fraud and for contravening the Customs and Excise Act after he falsified export documents and diverted cigarettes back into the South African market without paying the excise and duties for import and export.
Mr Naik claimed that the company had exported cigarettes to Zambia. These exports were investigated and proved to be false exports. This crime was committed to evade duties and excise payable on the cigarettes.
He was convicted on five counts of fraud and for contravening section 80 (1) of the Customs and Excise Act. According to evidence presented in the Johannesburg Regional Court, the total prejudice to SARS is R18-million.
Mr Kieswetter praised the investigating team and the co-operation of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for securing a conviction and sentencing.
“SARS has repeatedly stated that the organisation will make it hard and costly for taxpayers and traders who wilfully break the law and undermine the SARS mandate of collecting revenue.
“We are committed to helping those taxpayers and traders who seek to comply voluntarily with their legal obligations. Several digital channels have been created over the years to make it easy and simple for such taxpayers to comply.
“This conviction and sentencing should send a clear signal that SARS has a zero tolerance for such criminal behaviour and will use all avenues at its disposal to pursue these criminals,” Mr Kieswetter said.
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