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Press Release

Tax Justice SA calls for illicit trade tip-off line and swifter destruction of seized goods

By March 2, 2020September 7th, 2020No Comments

Monday 2 March 2020 – Tax Justice South Africa (TJSA) today called for bold new measures to urgently tackle the menace of illicit trade that is costing the nation an estimated R100 million every single day.

Yusuf Abramjee, founder of the non-profit organisation, said a dedicated tip-off line was essential to crack down on tax crimes being committed by illegal traders operating across multiple sectors from textiles to tobacco.

And when law officers seize illicit goods they should have the power and equipment to destroy them as quickly as possible to prevent them flowing back into the market, he added.

“Taxes are being lost to tune of R100 million a day to illicit trade. We need a fully functioning tip-off line to make it easier to for these crimes to be reported and we must ensure our law enforcement agencies treat these crimes as matters of urgency. It’s vital that the special units dealing with these crimes are properly funded by government,” said Mr Abramjee.

“Warehouses are fully packed with seized products. Because of the scale of the issue, we need more space for the seized goods and have to be sensitive to the risk that some seized products might flow back into the market.

“We need a practical solution and more rights for the officials to destroy seized goods faster and more effectively,” commented Mr Abramjee.

Mr Abramjee was officially launching TJSA alongside his fellow directors, Makali Lepholisa, former Commissioner for Customs in Lesotho, and Andy Mashaile, an Interpol Turn Back Crime Ambassador.

Also on the panel at the press conference in Johannesburg were Beyers Theron, the SARS executive responsible for ports of entry and customs enforcement, and Gwarega Mangozhe, CEO of the Consumer Goods Council of SA.

Mr Mangozhe said the CGCSA was in the process of establishing a tip-off line and app for the anonymous reporting of tax crimes, and hoped the phone line would be online before the end of the week.

“Illicit trade is not a government problem, it’s not an industry problem, it is a South African problem and we must all work together to overcome it,” he said.

Mr Theron said: “Every area of business is affected by illicit trade. The traditional approach of how we do things as Government is not going to stop the scourge of illicit trade.

“We need to become much smarter. We will use the latest technology and data analysis to find the needle in the haystack.”

Ms Lepholisa said she was in discussions to establish a Tax Justice Lesotho. “Whatever happens in SA spills over into Lesotho,” she said. “If SA is flooded with illicits they will flow over into Lesotho. Agencies must work together and share information and follow the money back to the illicit traders.”

Mr Mashaile said: “Every decent member of our community must out those involved in tax evasion. We must put these people before the doors of SARS. They are taking from our sisters, mothers and grandmothers, who should be helped by the state.”

Notes to Editor

The establishment of Tax Justice South Africa is a rallying cry to the people and to Government to take action against organised criminal gangs that are plundering South Africa. 

Founded by Yusuf Abramjee, Tax Justice South Africa will campaign for a lawful and prosperous South Africa and for urgent action against criminals who steal billions in legally due taxes every year.

Every day approximately R100 million is looted from South Africa by criminal tax evaders, undermining the Government and the rule of law, and robbing its people of a brighter future. 

Tax Justice South Africa will work to raise awareness of this national menace and show how these stolen funds could be used to build a better nation.

The campaign is supported by Makali Lepholisa, former Commissioner for Customs in  Lesotho, and Andy Mashaile, Interpol Turn Back Crime Ambassador, who join Yusuf as the Directors of Tax Justice South Africa.

#LockThemUp

For media queries contact Yusuf Abramjee, yusuf@taxjusticesa.co.za and +27 82 441 4203

2 March 2020 – Tax Justice South Africa (TJSA) today called for bold new measures to urgently tackle the menace of illicit trade that is costing the nation an estimated R100 million every single day.

Yusuf Abramjee, founder of the non-profit organisation, said a dedicated tip-off line was essential to crack down on tax crimes being committed by illegal traders operating across multiple sectors from textiles to tobacco.

And when law officers seize illicit goods they should have the power and equipment to destroy them as quickly as possible to prevent them flowing back into the market, he added.

“Taxes are being lost to tune of R100 million a day to illicit trade. We need a fully functioning tip-off line to make it easier to for these crimes to be reported and we must ensure our law enforcement agencies treat these crimes as matters of urgency. It’s vital that the special units dealing with these crimes are properly funded by government,” said Mr Abramjee.

“Warehouses are fully packed with seized products. Because of the scale of the issue, we need more space for the seized goods and have to be sensitive to the risk that some seized products might flow back into the market.

“We need a practical solution and more rights for the officials to destroy seized goods faster and more effectively,” commented Mr Abramjee.

Mr Abramjee was officially launching TJSA alongside his fellow directors, Makali Lepholisa, former Commissioner for Customs in Lesotho, and Andy Mashaile, an Interpol Turn Back Crime Ambassador.

Also on the panel at the press conference in Johannesburg were Beyers Theron, the SARS executive responsible for ports of entry and customs enforcement, and Gwarega Mangozhe, CEO of the Consumer Goods Council of SA.

Mr Mangozhe said the CGCSA was in the process of establishing a tip-off line and app for the anonymous reporting of tax crimes, and hoped the phone line would be online before the end of the week.

“Illicit trade is not a government problem, it’s not an industry problem, it is a South African problem and we must all work together to overcome it,” he said.

Mr Theron said: “Every area of business is affected by illicit trade. The traditional approach of how we do things as Government is not going to stop the scourge of illicit trade.

“We need to become much smarter. We will use the latest technology and data analysis to find the needle in the haystack.”

Ms Lepholisa said she was in discussions to establish a Tax Justice Lesotho. “Whatever happens in SA spills over into Lesotho,” she said. “If SA is flooded with illicits they will flow over into Lesotho. Agencies must work together and share information and follow the money back to the illicit traders.”

Mr Mashaile said: “Every decent member of our community must out those involved in tax evasion. We must put these people before the doors of SARS. They are taking from our sisters, mothers and grandmothers, who should be helped by the state.”

Notes to Editor

The establishment of Tax Justice South Africa is a rallying cry to the people and to Government to take action against organised criminal gangs that are plundering South Africa. 

Founded by Yusuf Abramjee, Tax Justice South Africa will campaign for a lawful and prosperous South Africa and for urgent action against criminals who steal billions in legally due taxes every year.

Every day approximately R100 million is looted from South Africa by criminal tax evaders, undermining the Government and the rule of law, and robbing its people of a brighter future. 

Tax Justice South Africa will work to raise awareness of this national menace and show how these stolen funds could be used to build a better nation.

The campaign is supported by Makali Lepholisa, former Commissioner for Customs in  Lesotho, and Andy Mashaile, Interpol Turn Back Crime Ambassador, who join Yusuf as the Directors of Tax Justice South Africa.

#LockThemUp

For media queries contact Yusuf Abramjee, yusuf@taxjusticesa.co.za and +27 82 441 4203