• Following a sting operation by the Hawks, a SARS employee was arrested for allegedly soliciting a R20,000 bribe.
  • The employee is accused of offering to write off a taxpayer's tax debt. 
  • Last year, two SARS custom auditors were sentenced to three years in jail after their attempts to solicit a R200,000 bribe.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A South African Revenue Service (SARS) employee in Bloemfontein was arrested on Monday after allegedly soliciting a bribe.

The employee is accused of offering to write off a taxpayer’s tax debt in return for the payment of R20,000, SARS said in a statement.

The person was arrested following a sting operation by the Hawks.

“Employees of SARS hold positions of privilege and trust, and are expected to display the highest levels of professionalism, act with utmost honesty and integrity, and apply the tax and customs laws competently, without any fear, favour and prejudice,” SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter said. SARS will not pre-empt the ongoing investigation, he said, but the institution will not tolerate any of its officials engaging in any collusion with taxpayers neither any act of criminal malfeasance.

The suspect will appear in court on Wednesday.

Last year, two customs auditors at SARS in Durban were sentenced to three years in prison after being caught red-handed with a cash bribe during a police operation.

They offered a notice to a well-known KwaZulu-Natal businessman in February 2018, advising him of an imminent audit of companies where he was a director. During a follow-up meeting, they solicited a bribe of R200,000 from him to make his tax problems “disappear”.  The businessman reported the matter to the police, which resulted in a sting operation.

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