A former South African Revenue Services (SARS) employee has received a harsh sentence for defrauding the tax collector.
Bilal Shaik received a 12-year custodial sentence for fraud, forgery, uttering and money laundering, amounting to R6-million.
Shaik was sentenced for facilitating fraudulent VAT refunds to three companies, but the money ended up in his bank account which he used for personal gain.
Meanwhile another accused, Kyle Nadasen representing Kyle Nadasen CC, was convicted of fraud, forgery and uttering and was sentenced to six years imprisonment, suspended for five years.
The third accused, Miloni Chetty, a sole member of ILONIM General Traders, was acquitted on all charges.
The court heard that the accused submitted fictitious invoices for the purpose of receiving an undue VAT refund.
SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter welcomed the sentences handed down to Shaik and Nadasen.
“SARS will not tolerate any criminal conduct by its employees. This is not negotiable, as taxpayers and traders should be able to trust the organisation and its employees to act with integrity. SARS is committed to making it hard and costly for anyone involved in criminal malfeasance on tax matters without fear, favour or prejudice. SARS takes umbrage at some amongst our ranks who engage in criminality. We will root them out.”
Kieswetter said criminal conduct tarnishes the reputation of a vital institution of democracy that relies on voluntary compliance by taxpayers and traders to fulfil its mandate of collecting revenue that can be used for the benefit of all South Africans, especially the poor and vulnerable.