A Durban waste paper company has been fined R500 000 or five years imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years with conditions, after a guilty plea to the export of waste paper without obtaining an export permit.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said Haashim’s Agency (Pty) Ltd was represented in court by one of its directors Afzal Ismail and the matter was finalised by regional court prosecutor Brian Cele.
In November 2021, the company arranged for 39 containers filled with waste scrap paper to be delivered to the South African Customs Depot in Durban, for export to India.
“The company was fully aware that this cargo required an export permit, however, they registered the cargo under an incorrect tariff code (one that does not require an export permit) to avoid applying for the permit.
“They were found out after an inspection by the Custom’s Illicit Trade Unit and the containers were subsequently detained,” Ramkisson-Kara said.
The conditions of the sentence, she said, are that Haashim’s Agency pays a fine of R200 000, or in default undergo five years imprisonment. R100 000 of this fine must be paid by January 15, 2022.
She said the remaining R100 000 must be paid in five consecutive monthly instalments of R20 000 each, commencing on February 3, with the final payment made on or before June 3, 2022.
“The NPA commends the excellent work done by customs officials in ensuring that corruption and fraud are stopped in its tracks as it deprives the government revenue to deliver on services for citizens of this country,” added Ramkisson-Kara.