Fraudster sentenced for multiple cases of money laundering
The Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Zodwa Mokoena welcomed the sentence of a repeat offender who was convicted and sentenced for multiple cases of money laundering. Major General Mokoena exceedingly applauded the investigation team and the judiciary for securing such a sentence which will serve as an example to those who are still defrauding the South African Revenue Service.
The exclamation followed the sentencing of Thokozani Caswell Shongwe (41) who was sentenced by the Nelspruit Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday, 24 August 2022. The accused was sentenced to five years imprisonment or R200 000-00 fine, of which half of the sentence was suspended. He was further instructed to pay back the prejudiced amount of R160 000-00 to SARS.
The sentence followed an investigation which was established in August 2021 by the Nelspruit based Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime investigation. On 4 August 2021, four accused were arrested and appeared in court for unlawfully claiming undue funds by submitting false tax returns on behalf of the company, Muzithe Trading cc. The total amount of R417 860-26 was paid from the revenue into the company’s account and was further transferred into the accused’ personal bank accounts.
Phillip Mutikobola Lukhele (64) and his daughter, Valencia Thembelihle Lukhele (38), both the directors of Muzithe Trading cc further transferred the money from Muzithe Trading cc into their personal bank accounts and other two beneficiaries, Sibusiso Simon Mlambo (37) and Thokozani Caswell Shongwe (41).
Shongwe pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Wednesday. The case against the other three accused was postponed to 14 October 2022.
On 1 June 2022, the Nelspruit Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sentenced Shongwe who was tried on a separate similar matter with other seven accused where he received R50 000-00 from SARS. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment or R200 000-00 fine alternatively of which half of the sentence was also suspended for five years. He opted for a fine and was further instructed to pay back the amount of R50 000-00 to SARS.
His co-accused, Pretty Sambo (31) who received R22 500-00 from the revenue services was sentenced to two years imprisonment or R10 000-00 fine of which half of the sentence was suspended. Sambo was further instructed to pay back the amount of R22 500-00 to SARS.
Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi
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