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Zimbabwe: Two Held in SA Over U.S. $850 K Smuggled Cigs

Tuesday, 01 July 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: All Africa
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Author: AllAfrica 

The South Africa Revenue Service (Sars) on Sunday arrested two truck drivers for allegedly trying to smuggle cigarettes worth about US$850,000 into South Africa and also attempting to bribe tax officials at Beitbridge Border Post.

Sars spokesperson Marika Muller confirmed the arrests saying: "SARS customs team at the Beitbridge Border Post stopped a truck entering South Africa for routine checks."

"Documents presented by the drivers indicated that the truck was empty but, when the truck was opened for a search, the SARS official found boxes of cigarettes concealed behind empty wooden pallets."

"The consignment had 900 Master Cases of Kingdom cigarettes (9 million individual cigarettes) with a total value of over R8.9 million."

"When the concealed cargo was discovered, the drivers of the truck offered the SARS official a bribe of US$1790 if he would disregard the find."

"Both the smuggled cargo and the attempted bribe were both immediately reported to the SAPS who arrested the drivers, and a criminal case of smuggling and bribery has been opened against them."

"It was suspected that the two truck drivers were Zimbabweans although was unable to confirm this with the police."

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Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

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