Vincent Smith indicted on additional charges of evading tax to the tune of R10mn

The Investigating Directorate has added charges of tax fraud and money-laundering involving some R28-million in undisclosed income to those of corruption faced by former senior ANC MP Vincent Smith.

Smith was handed an updated indictment on Tuesday, counting 27 charges, as he appeared in the Johannesburg specialised commercial crimes court, where his case was postponed until 22 January next year.

The tax charges stem from further investigations that revealed Smith failed to disclose to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) R15-million in taxable income that flowed into Euroblitz, a company of which he was the sole director and shareholder, as well as a further R13-million in earnings.

“We have found out that he had R28-million undisclosed to the tax man,” Investigating Directorate spokeswoman Sindisiwe Seboka said.

In total, Sars lost some R10-million in revenue because of Smith’s failure to declare the money, according to the indictment. 

Smith, the former chairman of parliament’s portfolio committee on correctional services, faces corruption charges for allegedly receiving inducements from Bosasa not to block the extension of its lucrative logistics contracts with the government, despite investigations pointing to what Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo termed “horrific stories of corruption” in these.

Under questioning from Zondo at the state capture inquiry earlier this year, Smith was silent as Bosasa secured more work from the state, despite himself having used the same adjective at the time to describe damning findings of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) against Bosasa.

Smith served as an ANC MP for 20 years and last year became the second MP to face criminal charges relating to state capture. He became chairman of the portfolio committee in 2009, the same year that the SIU report saw the light.

According to the indictment, Smith opposed outsourcing of a prison catering contract in 2012, but changed his stance in 2013. In October 2014, Bosasa footed the bill for a R200 000 electric fence installed at Smith’s home in Roodepoort.

Five months earlier, a Bosasa employee, acting on orders from chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi, allegedly deposited more than R276 000 into the Euroblitz account. 

Further payments to the same account followed, at Agrizzi’s alleged instruction, including one just shy of R400 000 marked as a “car accident settlement”.

Between 2012 and 2018, roughly R3.787-million was deposited into his private bank account and that of Euroblitz. Though the indictment states that much of the money came from sources unknown to the prosecution, the inflows stopped in mid-2018, when allegations arose of a corrupt relationship between himself and Bosasa.

The company’s contracts with the state ran until the following year and were worth a total of some R7-billion.

But Smith is also accused of earning millions in consultancy fees from Clidet 69 (PTY) Ltd and the Waterfall Golf Estate, apparently in exchange for using “his political influence” to help secure planning approval, within a set period of time, from planning authorities in the Gauteng provincial government.

The arrangement continued for years from 2005 onwards and the money was paid into both his private bank account and that of Euroblitz.

Again the earnings, which included shareholdings, were not declared. Smith now faces 29 charges in total, including further fraud charges for failing to declare the money paid to him by Waterfall Golf Estate and Clidet 69 in parliament’s register of members’ interests.

Also on Tuesday, the Palm Ridge specialised crimes court issued a warrant of arrest for Agrizzi after he failed to appear, citing ill health, as he has done for the past nine months. The warrant was stayed until his next appearance next month, and the court will now at the prosecution’s request enlist an independent physician to provide an opinion on his health.

Agrizzi faces fraud charges for offering Smith bribes.

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