Three company directors have been arrested for alleged fraud involving over R5 million worth of foodstuffs meant to feed the needy in Malawi.
They were arrested by the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team for alleged fraud related to food, such as tons of refined vegetable oil and yellow split peas, that was donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its humanitarian relief.
The investigation was launched after the South African Revenue Services (Sars) opened a fraud case in contravention of the Value Added Tax Act and Excise Act in June 2017.
"The Hawks were then entrusted with the investigation, which has now shed light on the fact that the goods were initially stored in a bonded warehouse in Durban. The suspects' company was tasked to transport the piles, but this never took place. It has since emerged that the goods never left the Republic of South Africa (RSA) but were instead sold for self-gain from within the country at the detriment of the needy," said Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha.
The three, aged 44 to 62, are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Commercial Crime Court on 8 June.