SARS uncovers another multi-million rand tax evasion scheme

TWO men who allegedly defrauded the South African Revenue Service (SARS) of more than R5 million were granted bail of R50 000 each in the Nigel Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Clint Dixon and Leo Agbakwuru were arrested by the police’s elite crime fighting unit, the Hawks, on Friday following a probe by the SARS enforcement division.

SARS believes the two are part of an illicit gold industry syndicate.

“The syndicate allegedly fabricated fraudulent documentation reflecting purchases of second-hand jewellery amounting to R50 million,” SARS spokesman Luther Lebelo said.

“The fictitious purchases were used in claiming a fraudulent 14 percent notional VAT input over the period of 2011 to 2013. SARS suffered an actual prejudice in excess of R5 million due to this scheme.”

The case against Dixon and Agbakwuru was postponed to November 3 for further investigaiton.

Their arrest follows a similar scheme allegedly run by Bezuidenhout group, which was uncovered by SARS earlier this year.

The Bezuidenhout syndicate is alleged to have fabricated over 16 000 fraudulent invoices (worth about R437 million) to reflect purchases of second-hand gold jewellery.

These fictitious purchases were used in claiming a fraudulent 14% notional VAT input over the period of 2010 to 2012, as well as understating their sales during the same period. – ANA