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Corrupt Skilpadshek border customs officers arrested

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Two South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs officers and a member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) were arrested at Skilpadshek border post on Friday.

The three officials, who were arrested during a sting operation, are to be charged for various offences in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, as well as for corruption.

They are expected to appear in the Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court in the North West on Monday.

In August earlier this year, Patrick Moeng Executive for Customs Investigations, was informed that a member of SAPS had approached customs officials to fraudulently process export documents for fuel that was supposedly exported by a tanker across the border post.

“Subsequent investigations into the matter found that no such fuel was exported, and no tankers crossed the border.

“The Hawks, together with the SARS Criminal Investigation and Fraud Investigation units, were then approached to further investigate, and this led to the arrest of the two customs officials and a policeman…” Sars said in a statement.

As a result of the intense investigation, 16 shipments of fuel that had been fraudulently processed for export have been identified so far.

The trio had plotted to mark this fuel as for export, only to discover it was sold on the local market.

The estimated revenue that would have been potentially lost to SARS as a result of this corrupt activity is approximately R3 360 717.03, including the various duties and levies. – SAnews.gov.za