Police bust large VAT-fraud syndicate

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Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula caused a stir recently when he revoked the privileges of several sporting codes to host or bid to stage any international events, due to a lack of transformation.

JOHANNESBURG - Nine members of a syndicate believed to be behind "large-scale"  value added tax (VAT) fraud have been arrested in raids in Gauteng and KwaZulu.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Friday that a team of Hawks, SA Revenue Service and crime intelligence officers arrested the eight men and a woman in connection with a scam with a potential loss to the fiscus of more than R90-million.

 

They raided 12 premises in upmarket neighbourhoods at dawn on Thursday.

These included a number of business premises, leading to several high-profile arrests of criminal syndicates, Mbalula said in a statement.

The suspects allegedly filed fraudulent VAT claims for a number of years.

"This is about tracking and dealing a blow to the source of crime – the kingpins, crime financiers and planners. These are the people who drive luxury cars and behave as though they are ordinary hard-working people. We are targetting these masqueraders head on – one by one," he said "Their crimes are massive and through their criminality, hundreds of other crimes get committed ...

"I am saying to top gangs and top crime families: South Africa is being disinfected of your kind, watch your back because we are watching you. You are next," Mbalula said.

He said syndicates were involved in anything criminal: human trafficking, drugs, car highjacking, assets-in-transit trafficking, the manufacture and import of luxury and  fake goods, wildlife trafficking and poaching, financing of illegal sheebens, taxi and bus wars, uber attacks, counterfeit currency printing, public sector corruption and many other crimes.