Dramatic security firm raid

2013-10-02 00:00

The raid on Ilanga Security, managed by local business tycoon Shameel Rahman Ally, came as The Witness was interviewing Ally in his office.

Events rapidly took a dramatic turn.

Ally claimed he was being set up by a business rival — and produced an enigmatic letter tipping him off to the law enforcement crackdown (see cut-out).

Officers from the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) insisted they were probing the operations of a “shadow company” alleged to underpay security guards who were also not legally registered.

Investigators claim Ally operates the “shadow” company, called Centurion, which they are probing. They claim it is not registered with PSIRA and had not being paying tax to SARS.

Police officers also inspected his firearm register and weapons held on the premises during the raid.

Ilanga has won a number of contracts to guard various government buildings in KwaZulu-Natal and has also been hired to transport and safeguard matric papers in the past.

Ally said Ilanga Security had recently won a tender for a national R100 million guarding contract involving various state buildings across six provinces. He said this has sparked the conspiracy by his rivals.

The PSIRA investigators, who did not identify themselves to Ally and his attorney Rajen Manicum, insisted on searching the premises.

“This is a clear conspiracy to defame me and my company. There is no evidence to suggest anything else. I have been expecting this raid to happen for a few days now,” said Ally.

Ally said he had no connection to the alleged “shadow company” being probed.

“I supervise other company security guards and provide mentorship to them. It does not mean that I am responsible for those guards and their compliance,” he insisted.

Ally, who arrived at his Pine Street business premises shortly before the investigators arrived, said he was the target of a conspiracy against him by rivals in the security industry.

He also handed The Witness an anonymous letter that he claimed was faxed to him last week warning him it would happen and naming a business rival in the alleged conspiracy against him.

“I have very reliable information that will assist you from your opposition company that is trying to close you down,” the letter’s author wrote.

“He is boasting in the office every day. He said he decided to use some of his contacts that linked (sic) to PSIRA who is putting everything together, SARS and the national firearm people,” the letter read.

Adrian Lackay of the South African Revenue Services said they would not comment and referred further inquiries to the police. The Private Security Industry Regulation Authority also declined to comment.

“I can confirm that we did not lead that raid. We work with the SAPS and they would be better placed to comment on it,” said an official.

Colonel Jay Naicker said the raid involved several law enforcement agencies, including the Crime Intelligence, Hawks, PSIRA, SARS and the SAPS.

“The allegation was that the man was running an unregistered security company,” said Naicker.

He said the owner of the company had been charged and would be appearing in court soon.

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