The Operation Buya Mthetho team, has collected R1-million from a customer who tried to claim a R2.2-million fraudulent refund from the City.
At the beginning of March 2018 the account was owing the City a total amount of R5.1-million but at the end of the same month the account reflected a credit of R2.2-million. The client who owns an industrial site in Cleveland, east of Johannesburg then came forward to claim the fraudulent refund.
I am informed that staff members working at the Revenue Department realized that something was wrong with the account and immediately intercepted the refund request.
An investigation was then conducted by the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service department. While the investigation was underway, the previous adjustment which credited the account reducing the balance to R2.2 million credit was suddenly reversed and that account went back to a R5.1 million debit balance which is due and payable to the City.
Yesterday, the client was called in and made a payment of R1-million while a query on the account is being addressed before full settlement can be made. Investigations into the account also revealed that the account was not correctly billed since August last year. City officials are currently working out the correct amount owed by the customer. The customer will then be given the correct bill which he is expected to settle.
The Operation Buya Mthetho team also visited the premises and found that the electricity meter has been bypassed.
The corner is being turned and staff in revenue department are staying on high alert to deal with the rampant lawlessness that has existed for years.
The City would have potentially lost over R7million if the refund request was honoured and I would like to thank all staff who worked hard to stop this corruption.
Over 18 people linked to the fraudulent refunds scam have been arrested in the Revenue Department.