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Zimbabwean Fraud Kingpins Sentenced to 205 Years for Defrauding SARS Over R100m

Zimbabwean Fraud Kingpins Sentenced to 205 Years for Defrauding SARS Over R100m

In a significant legal development, the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Johannesburg, has handed down a landmark ruling, sentencing a notorious Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud syndicate to a cumulative 205 years behind bars.

The syndicate faced a staggering 391 counts, including charges of fraud, forgery, uttering, corruption, and money laundering.

The sentencing saw prominent members of the syndicate, including Jeremiah Musiwacho Dube and Maxwell Ndlovu-Mavudzi, receive substantial prison terms.

Notably, Jeremiah Dube was handed an effective imprisonment term of 65 years, while Rebecca Dube received 25 years, and Maxwell Ndlovu-Mavudzi 65 years.

Other members of the syndicate, including Constance Ramone, Edward Shoniwa, Audrey Radebe, Bongani Mbonani, and Sello Rathete, received varying prison sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years.

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However, Christopher Dube, another key figure in the syndicate, remains at large after absconding post-conviction.

The syndicate’s criminal activities spanned over a significant period, operating between 2009 and their arrest in 2015.

Their elaborate scheme involved defrauding the South African Revenue Services (SARS) through the submission of fraudulent VAT refund claims.

The syndicate’s modus operandi included submitting false VAT returns, claiming expenses related to the importation and purchase of diesel, and fabricating invoices and storage agreements to support their fraudulent claims.

At the helm of the syndicate were Jeremiah Dube, Maxwell Mavudzi, Sello Rathete Zimbabwean nationals, and Zambian National Boaz Chilala, with the latter still evading authorities.

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These key figures orchestrated the intricate web of deceit, which ultimately resulted in the loss of over 100 million rands to the fiscus.

The prosecution, led by Advocate Skhumbuzo Majola and Senior State Advocate Moeketsi Sereme, presented compelling evidence establishing the syndicate’s common purpose to defraud SARS.

Also read: Bhishu Reality: Sad As Woman Narrates How She Started Thigh Vending! “Chipfambi Che 2 dollars”

The court found that all accused had acted in concert to perpetrate the fraud, despite attempts to evade justice through prolonged legal maneuvers.

The investigation into the syndicate’s activities was prompted by an anonymous tip-off to SARS, which proved instrumental in tracking the flow of funds and identifying the entities involved.

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Additionally, evidence presented during the trial revealed attempts by the accused to obstruct justice, including an unsuccessful bribery attempt on a senior SARS official conducting the investigation.

The sentencing marks a significant victory for the South African justice system, sending a clear message that financial crimes will not be tolerated.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Andrew Chauke, hailed the ruling as a landmark achievement in the fight against corruption and financial malfeasance.

As the nation celebrates this milestone in the battle against financial crime, the hunt for Christopher Dube and Boaz Chilala continues, underscoring the ongoing commitment to holding all perpetrators of fraud and corruption accountable before the law.

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