Family flee after R33m VAT fraud

2010-03-06 22:39

Johannesburg - A family is suspected to have fled after allegedly defrauding the South African Revenue Service (Sars) of over R33m, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Saturday.

Shahida Tayob allegedly filed false Value Added Tax refund claims of approximately R35m in 2006 to 2007, said spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

"She misrepresented to Sars that her close corporation had sold cellphones to the value of [around R33m] to certain suppliers," Mhaga said.

Sars had ultimately paid over a similar into the account of Tayob's close corporation.

Tayob issued cheques to "third parties" as payments to suppliers, who were people whom she knew.

Her husband, Abdool, and son, Ahmed, would then cash the cheques, Mhaga said.

The money was used to buy luxury goods such as Porches and houses.

Restraint order

The Asset Forfeiture Unit on March 1 obtained a restraint order in the North Gauteng High Court against Tayob and her family, prohibiting them from spending more of the money.

Tayob also had to surrender the properties to a curator until the criminal case was finalised.

Tayob and her husband are believed to have fled the country.

Police were due to arrest her son during confiscation at their Erasmia home on Friday. He is suspected to have fled with a BMW that would also have been seized.

Police confiscated property worth R15m, including two houses, a vacant lot and a Toyota Prado.