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Hawks swoop on Western Cape Fraudsters

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The Hawks have arrested two suspects for defrauding Western Cape municipalities out of millions of rands.

The pair, aged 42 and 49, were arrested on Tuesday after lengthy investigations in partnership with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha said internal SARS investigations exposed unclaimed Input VAT claims by several Western Cape municipalities for the period 2009 to 2011.

“It is alleged that a tax consultant company under the duo’s directorship was contracted by Oudtshoorn, Venterdorp and Plettenberg Bay Municipalities to assist in recovering unclaimed Input Value Added Tax (VAT) for these periods and in return, the entity was paid lucratively for each successful tax recovery made,” said Ramovha.

Investigations also indicated that the entity was somehow allegedly inflating its VAT assessment figures, as it stood to benefit directly.

“Claims were somehow allegedly repeatedly submitted, even on items already claimed in previous periods or claimed on items which are prohibited by the VAT Act, resulting in the Receiver of Revenue suffering losses to the tune of approximately R16 million,” said Ramovha.

The pair is expected to appear in the George Magistrate’s Court on 4 October to face charges of fraud and contravening the VAT Act. –