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R100m illicit foreign currency seized by SA Customs: Nhlanhla Nena

R100m illicit foreign currency seized by SA Customs: Nhlanhla Nena

CAPE TOWN: FINANCE Minister Nhlanhla Nene has confirmed that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) confiscated foreign currency worth an estimated R100m that was brought into the country as “accompanied baggage” from Nigeria through Lanseria airport.

The minister was replying in writing on Tuesday to a parliamentary question by Economic Freedom Fighters MP Floyd Shivambu who requested more details about the money that was confiscated on September 5 last year.

Mr Nene said the customs section of SARS acted in accordance with the Customs and Excise Act. In terms of section 15 (1) (a) of the act, any persons entering the country must unreservedly declare, at the time of entering, all goods in their possession that were acquired abroad.

“The currency was therefore detained by SARS customs for the purposes of establishing whether the currency is liable to forfeiture in terms of section 88 (1)(a) and in contravention of any other act contemplated under section 113 (8)(a) of the customs act.

“The foreign currency was counted and confirmed by SARS and then handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for further investigation as it was not declared to customs on import into … SA and was considered to have been dealt with irregularly,” Mr Nene said.

The minister said that the foreign currency was brought into SA as accompanied baggage for an unknown purpose and was handed over to the South African Police Service for further investigation and finalisation.