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Johannesburg - Convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti has divorced his wife only to prevent the SA Revenue Service from having full access to all his assets.
And Sars believes that, should Agliotti be placed under sequestration, there is a reasonable possibility that the assets he has been hiding will be found.
These submissions are part of an affidavit filed in the Pretoria High Court on October 2, when the revenue service applied for a provisional sequestration of Agliotti’s estate.
Agliotti apparently owes Sars more than R78 million for unfiled income tax returns and value-added tax obligations between 2003 and 2008.
He had until October 10 to oppose the application, but failed to do so. The matter will now be heard on November 25.
It is the revenue service’s second provisional sequestration application that has been brought against Agliotti. Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay confirmed that it submitted an amended application to the high court earlier this year for the provisional sequestration.
“The application was not opposed by the individual, and the matter is set down for next month. This is part of Sars’s efforts to recover long-standing tax debt.
“The legal process must now run its course before court,” he said.
Should it be granted, it means the revenue service – in an attempt to find the assets it believes Agliotti is hiding – will have full control of all his bank accounts and interests in South Africa and overseas.
In the affidavit, Sars senior manager Pieter Engelbrecht claims that, although Agliotti recently divorced his wife, he is still living at the same address.
This, said Engelbrecht, gave the impression that Agliotti’s divorce was “simulated to ensure that the Insolvency Act would not be applied if his estate was sequestrated”.
“The respondent is residing in a luxurious house in an expensive security golf estate, Pecanwood, situated at Hartbeespoort Dam. An appointed trustee will be empowered to investigate the facts pertaining to his residence,” the affidavit stated.
But on Friday Agliotti dismissed the allegations as “the biggest load of cr*p. Sars think they know everything, but they don’t”, he said.
He was aware of the application, but said he and his legal team had not yet decided whether they would oppose the matter.
In the affidavit, Engelbrecht said it appeared Agliotti was insolvent. His Mercedes-Benz, Range Rover and R200 000 bail have been attached, and his household goods were auctioned off for a paltry R30 785.
He has no properties registered in his name, and Sars has evidence of him owing a company R400 000.
But he alleged there was a “reasonable prospect” that an investigation into Agliotti’s financial affairs and an inquiry would identify further assets.
“There is more than a reasonable likelihood that a trustee will, through an investigation of Agliotti’s affairs, discover assets that can be liquidated for purposes of paying his debts,” Engelbrecht said.
A trustee could apply for an extension of powers to investigate his offshore interests, he added.
Engelbrecht said that in 2008 Sars was given permission to convene an inquiry into Agliotti – but he failed to disclose information about his involvement in corporate entities, income earned and funds paid into overseas accounts.
Agliotti had been asked for the bank statements of his account in Geneva, Switzerland, but said that the bank did not provide statements.
In 2010, the revenue service had found a chequebook from a bank account in Guernsey in the Channel Islands in a safety deposit box at the Randburg Standard Bank, which belonged to Agliotti.
As part of its application, the revenue service is relying on an affidavit that Agliotti filed in the criminal trial of disgraced national police commissioner Jackie Selebi, in which Agliotti essentially admitted to using the account of a company, Supreme Lights 6, where he received funds from another company, JCI Limited. The deposits totalled R39m.
Sars is also using information gleaned from Agliotti’s ex-fiancée, Dianne Muller, during an inquiry in which she elaborated on how Agliotti funded her lifestyle – giving her money, paying her daughter’s university fees, and giving R130 000 towards a BMW that she bought for her daughter when she turned 19.
Agliotti allegedly paid her bond of R380 000 and bought her extravagant and expensive jewellery.