Two arrested for gold tax scam

2015-07-31 14:58

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Johannesburg - Two more people have been arrested as part of a crackdown on an illegal gold industry syndicate, South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Friday.

"Following the arrests of three suspects linked to an illicit gold industry syndicate in May, an additional two suspects were apprehended and arrested by the... Hawks and [Sars] in Johannesburg last night [Thursday]," they said in a statement.

"This follows further intense investigations into the operations of the syndicate by Sars."

The syndicate is alleged to have fabricated over 16000 fraudulent invoices - worth around R437 million - to "show" purchases of second-hand gold jewellery.

"These fictitious purchases were used in claiming a fraudulent 14% notional value-added tax (VAT) input over the period 2010 to 2012, as well as understating their sales during the same period," Sars said.

Following the three arrested in May, more people who took part in the illegal operations of the syndicate, were uncovered. 

The illegal operations included fake invoices and defrauding the tax system by using second-hand goods registers and Sars VAT 264 forms, used to misrepresent second-hand jewellery purchases.

"Since August 2013, Sars has been investigating approximately 26 companies and individuals suspected of using fraudulent tax schemes to legitimise illegally mined or smuggled gold," the service said.

"In February 2015 a case was registered with the South African Police Service."

Since the investigations began, Sars had successfully prosecuted eight people and companies regarding tax compliance. 

The investigations had also led to Sars recovering around R65 million in outstanding payments.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime
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