Customs raid Willowton business

2011-02-07 00:00

MORE than 260 sealed Mondi Rotatrim boxes containing photocopying paper believed to worth more than R40 000 were confiscated at a company in Imco Business Park in the Willowton industrial area.

The paper was seized in a joint operation by the South African Police Force and the SARS Customs Unit on Friday.

Police were called in to help with the seizing of 264 boxes of photocopying paper after the first raid by the customs unit

The company was found to have no proper tax invoice to account for the goods.

While police and customs were busy explaining to the businessman, whose name is known to The Witness, why they had visited his premises, a man who is known by the businessman identified himself as his attorney.

When police asked him to prove that he is an attorney, he said he did not have his card with him. He then went to his car and drove off never to return.

Later the real attorney arrived and apologised on behalf of his client for the imposter, saying that he would investigate the matter further so that he can hand the man over to the police.

The newly appointed Mountain Rise station commissioner, Brigadier Francis Bantham, was present during the raid.

She said the partnership between customs and the SAPF is aimed at rooting out corruption, especially among second-hand dealers in the area, because Mountain Rise has experienced a lot of housebreakings.

“We want businesses to keep their house in order because if they don’t we are going to be visiting a lot of them,” said Bantham.

She warned them, “If you accept goods without proper documentation and receive goods that are unaccounted for, there might be somebody’s blood on those goods.

I am giving you until [this] Friday to get your house in order.” She said she wants to send a strong message to businesses that operate without proper documentation.

Mohloki Mangojane, the Customs team commander, said the paper was confiscated pending the businessman’s submission of proper invoices.

“If he fails to comply with the ultimatum, then SAPF would take over from customs and this will change from a customs contravention to a criminal investigation,” added Mangojane.

The businessman said the story is not worth publishing in the paper because he knows that he runs a clean business.

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