Tax evasion charges withdrawn [Daily News (South Africa)]
(Daily News (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Charges against a private security boss relating to allegations of a multimillion-rand tax evasion have been withdrawn.
On Friday the State withdrew charges in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court against Mohamed Yacoob and Khuselani Security and Risk Management. But it instituted charges against a previously defunct entity named Khuselani.
The newly charged entity pleaded guilty to charges of defrauding the SA Revenue Service of R9 444 412 between 2008 and 2009 and was fined R500 000.
This fraud was perpetrated by the then chief financial officer of the company, Robin Hazell, who has since committed suicide.
Hazell was the mastermind behind incorrect declarations to Sars and was also previously convicted of fraud.
According to the State, intent could not be established against the entity now charged, but it was conceded that the entity ought to have known what had transpired at the hands of Hazell, and should therefore be held accountable.
After a protracted legal battle between the parties, it was conceded by the State and Sars on Friday that the charge sheet be amended by removing any reference to Khuselani Security and Risk Management and Yacoob as accused parties.
The newly charged, defunct entity was restored to trading status last month by order of the Pietermaritzburg High Court after an application by Yacoob to stop its liquidation.
The Daily News reported at that time that this would allow Yacoob to enter into a plea bargain with the State as a representative of the company, so that he was not charged in his personal capacity.
In his affidavit, Yacoob said that in 2006, he and Hazell acquired Khulesani, which was insolvent at that time.
He became the sole director and focused on marketing, while Hazell took financial control of the operations.
Yacoob said he decided to step away from the company in 2009 because he had started another security company which was bigger and needed more attention.
Mohammed Suyee was appointed director and he and Hazell ran the day-to-day operation at Khulesani.
Yacoob maintained his financial interests in the company as the main shareholder.
In November 2009, Hazell committed suicide.
Suyee established that the financial records of the company were a "shambles".
Khulesani went into voluntary liquidation on January 25, 2010.
Yacoob paid R9 444 412 to Sars on March 9, 2012.
He said that he felt it his moral and ethical obligation to do so.
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