Hawks must prioritise probe into Guptas’ R70 million tax refund: DA

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The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) must do everything within their power to investigate and prosecute the politically connected Gupta family’s proceeds, implicating them in a suspicious R70 million tax pay-out from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) last year, says the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The DA noted the move by the Hawks and the SARS arresting nine suspects linked to a VAT scam that had cost the economy R90 million, DA spokesman Zakhele Mbhele said.

“We are encouraged by this move and hopeful that more similar arrests will take place soon. The Hawks must do everything that is within their power in order to investigate and prosecute with equal diligence the Gupta proceeds, implicating them in a suspicious R70 million tax pay-out from SARS last year,” says Mbhele.

This included obtaining the necessary court orders to gain access to information with SARS. The DA urged Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to ensure that the Hawks had all the necessary support that they needed in this regard.

“SARS paid this money into the bank account of Oakbay Investments. Normally, pay-outs are only paid into the account of the taxpayer and not into the account of the third party or proxy. This was after South Africa’s major banks closed Gupta-linked accounts.

“The DA finds the personal involvement by SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane in intervening and securing the payment into the Gupta account far from regular. SARS cannot be used to advance certain agendas for politicians and those who are politically connected, such as the Gupta family,” he says.

The extent of corruption and state capture by the Guptas had collapsed institutions and state-owned-enterprises, which had adversely impacted on the country’s economy and jobs.

“That is why the Guptas must fully account for every cent that they have unduly benefited by stealing the fruits of the hard labour of innocent South Africans. Mbalula must show decisive leadership, and offer both the Hawks and SARS all the necessary support needed to establish and expedite the investigation into R70 million Gupta tax refund,” says Mbhele.


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