The inquiry into state capture has heard how the Gupta family enterprise fraudulently claimed, and was paid, R9 million in tax rebates.

The commission now wants that money to be added to the R280 million of public money that flowed to the Guptas from the Free State government.

Paul Holden a researcher for forensics firm Shadow World Investigations, presented evidence on the rebates Friday among transactions in the flow of Estina funds.

SARS rebates in focus

Holden said some of the R280 million that the Free State government paid to Estina was used to raise loans offshore, and was only returned to buy the dairy equipment it was meant for when suspicions were raised.

“One is to make tracing the funds difficult and the second is to break the link with Estina and the Free State government.”

Among the transactions the commission is focusing on are tax rebates from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to the tune of R9 million.

“R64 million of the VAT input costs that Estina claimed from Sars were claimed in respect of invoices that were fraudulent, so this R9 million can be added to public funds that the Guptas derived from the Estina enterprise,” explained evidence leader Matthew Chaskalson.

The commission said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) obtained some of the records through mutual legal assistance from the UAE.

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