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Thu Oct 23 05:06:56 SAST 2014

SARS officials arrested for extortion

Sapa | 07 November, 2013 16:49

Image by: Reuben Goldberg

Seven customs officials and two police officers were arrested for alleged extortion in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The SA Revenue Service (Sars) can confirm the arrest... of seven customs officials on suspicion of involvement in incidents of robbery and extortion," spokesman Adrian Lackay said in a statement.

Their modus operandi was to obtain information about foreign business people who held large amounts of money and who may have acted illegally.

"The suspects would allegedly extract further information about the targets from the Sars and SA Police Service systems."

During unauthorised raids, the officials threatened the foreigners with arrest.

Acting Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay welcomed the arrests.

"Sars welcomes the investigation of corrupt elements within its ranks. To that end, over the years, we have created a special capability to combat corruption which has a proven record."

The nine were expected to appear in court on Friday on charges of corruption, extortion, robbery, and defeating the ends of justice.

"Internal disciplinary processes will be pursued by Sars against the implicated officials," Lackay said.

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