IRS Criminal Investigation and SARS join forces to fight international crimes

 

WASHINGTON & PRETORIA — The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) enforcement divisions are joining forces to fight tax and economic crimes affecting both countries.

IRS-CI and SARS CI are working together to identify, investigate and bring to justice criminals with a nexus to both countries. Some of the crimes under investigation include international public corruption, cyber fraud, and money laundering. The newly formed partnership has already uncovered emerging schemes perpetrated by promoters, professional enablers, and financial institutions.

"The global fight against financial crimes is not one that can be fought alone by any one country. Our partnership with the South African Revenue Service will soon reveal operational results made possible by our strong alliance and collaborative efforts," said Guy Ficco, IRS-CI Director of Global Operations. Taxpayers and tax professionals using offshore and other sophisticated schemes to evade U.S. and South African laws will be uncovered and prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

"SARS welcomes the collaboration with the IRS, particularly with our renewed focus on non-compliant high wealth individuals and offshore holdings. One of our strategic objectives is to make it easy for taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations and hard and costly for those who willfully do not comply," said SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter. "We trust that this partnership will yield results, both in terms of augmenting our internal skill sets as we clamp down on illegal activities affecting both our countries."

A major component of the collaborative effort between the two countries includes an ongoing training initiative led by IRS-CI. The U.S. tax agency continuously shares financial investigative techniques, trains South African law enforcement officers and government officials and highlights adjudicated international case studies relevant to both countries.

Last month, IRS-CI delivered an offshore tax evasion training webinar to approximately 40 SARS enforcement officers. The training illustrated a complex pyramid scheme highlighting egregious levels of greed, deceit, and nefarious coordination efforts orchestrated by businesses. The training incorporated multiple areas of transnational financial crimes specific to offshore banking schemes, tax evasion, and conspiracy.

The partnership between IRS-CI and SARS is part of the U.S. tax agency's Global Operations program. IRS-CI has special agent attachés strategically stationed in 11 foreign countries. Attachés continuously build and maintain strong alliances with foreign governments, law enforcement and industry partners. To learn more about IRS-CI's Global Operations, visit IRS.gov/criminalinvestigation.