Joint SAPS, Sars raid nets alcohol, equipment worth R13.8m

A combined team of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and South African Police Service (SAPS) conducted a raid on an unauthorised warehouse in Vryburg, North-West on Friday, where illegally-manufactured alcohol and bitcoin mining equipment worth millions of rands were confiscated.

Sars stated that the warehouse was used to illegally connect the crypto currency mining equipment to the town’s electrical power supply.

“The warehouse was also used to manufacture 14 617 bottles of duty-free liquor and popular local brands. The bitcoin mining equipment is valued at around R10-million, while the alcohol is estimated at R3.8-million.

“The warehouse was well equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to enable those involved to carry out their criminal activities. One foreign national was arrested,” said Sars.

Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter praised the ongoing co-operation between Sars and SAPS in apprehending the perpatrators of the crime. Kieswetter said the raid formed part of the revenue collector’s decision to act more vigilantly against unregistered taxpayers conducting business and to protect legitimate businesses.

“The abuse of duty-free labels to circumvent payable duties and other criminal under-takings found at this warehouse undermines our economy and will be confronted and met with the full might of the law,” said Kieswetter.

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