Members of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) conducted a raid on an unauthorised warehouse in Vryburg, North-West on Thursday, confiscating millions of rands worth of illegally manufactured alcohol and bitcoin mining equipment.
SARS said in a statement that the warehouse was used to illegally connect the crypto currency mining equipment to the town’s electrical power supply.
“It was also used to manufacture 14 617 bottles of duty-free liquor and popular local brands. The bitcoin mining equipment is valued at around R10 million while the alcohol is estimated at R3.8 million. The warehouse was well equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to enable those involved to carry out their criminal activities. One foreign national was arrested,” SARS said.
The country’s tax body said that an investigation was underway, and more arrests were expected.
SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter, praised the ongoing cooperation between SARS and SAPS in apprehending those who were bent on perpetrating criminality.
He said the raid was in line with SARS’ decision to act more vigilantly against unregistered taxpayers conducting business, and to protect legitimate businesses.
“The abuse of duty-free labels to circumvent payable duties and other criminal undertakings found at this warehouse undermines our economy and will be confronted and met with the full might of the law,” the tax entity warned.