Two former South African Revenue Service auditors and a runner have been arrested for alleged tax evasion worth approximately R321 million.

The arrests were made by the Johannesburg Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team on Tuesday.

Auditors Corah Madlepollo Kooko and Noluthando Sipokazi Mbanga as well as a runner Mndolozi Mncube have been charged for tax fraud in contravention of the Value Added Tax Act, as well as Customs and Excise Act – with an actual loss of over R277 million.

R44 million of the money has already been recovered through an investigation in conjunction with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

An investigation by SARS, between 2013 and 2016, identified extensive value-added tax (VAT) fraud with Small and Medium Enterprises sectors registered as VAT merchants.

The syndicate involves more than twenty individuals and various companies. Most of the fraudulent invoices were uploaded from the SARS branch in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg, where some of the implicated suspects were based.

They have been granted R10 000 bail each. Their case has been postponed to the 13 July 2021.