Friday, January 28, 2011
Sars employee held for R83 million fraud
Sars employee held for R83m fraud
January 28 2011 at 04:33pm
A SA Revenue Service worker was arrested in East London for alleged involvement in a countrywide fraud syndicate that has allegedly stolen cheques worth over R83 million. Photo: Independent Newspapers
A SA Revenue Service worker was arrested in East London on Friday for alleged involvement in a countrywide fraud syndicate that has allegedly stolen cheques worth over R83-million.
The syndicate had been under investigation for two-and-a-half years, and this was the second Sars employee caught, spokesperson Adrian Lackay said in a statement.
The first, Neo Kotsane from the SARS office in Pretoria, was awaiting sentencing in the matter. It was believed more staff members may be involved.
“Various Sars officials are suspected of having colluded with the syndicate members by stealing cheques, providing it to syndicate members, opening duplicate bank accounts in the name of registered companies and depositing stolen cheques into these accounts.”
Sars said more than 390 cheques, including one for about R480 000 from East London's Daily Dispatch newspaper, were stolen and paid into these accounts. The paper's cheque was placed in a drop box at the East London Sars branch office, allegedly stolen and placed in a fake company account.
The revenue service said the fraud decreased dramatically as the investigation progressed, with no further incidents reported since June last year. It had also, with the help of law enforcement agencies, managed to recover about half the stolen money.
“No taxpayer who had cheques stolen by the syndicate was disadvantaged on the tax system.”
Two other suspected syndicate ringleaders were arrested in Johannesburg earlier this week. They had been evading police for the past three months.
“The three accused who were arrested this week have and will be charged with fraud and theft relating to a sample of seven of the stolen cheques that were identified,” Lackay said. -