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Cape Town men arrested for R110 million VAT fraud

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As tax season 2016 comes to an end, two men have been arrested for claiming R110 million VAT refunds for a non-existent business in Cape Town, said the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

The business man and his accountant were arrested on Thursday morning.

“The business man, his accountant and five connected closed corporations received a total of R110 385 975 in VAT refunds over a period of time. They claimed the VAT refunds by submitting fraudulent invoices to SARS on a monthly basis,” said the revenue service in a statement.

Following an audit, SARS’s investigations confirmed that the invoices were not only false but that all the invoices, on which input VAT were claimed were shared between three vendors.

“SARS was able to confirm that the suspects did not run a business or purchase goods from suppliers, yet the refunds they had claimed were tantamount to purchases to the value of R823 million.”

The money that was claimed by the pair was used to pay bonds on the huge property portfolio held amongst them, luxury vehicles, overseas trips and private expenses.

The accused face charges of contraventions of Tax and Customs Acts, as well as charges of theft, fraud, money laundering, forgery and uttering.

“They are expected to appear in court for a bail hearing within the next few days,” said SARS.