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SIU raids Kimberley accounting firm

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The Special Investigating Unit and the Hawks raided an accounting firm in Kimberley on Wednesday as part of their R1.4 billion investigation into the National Lotteries Commission.

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THE SPECIAL Investigating Unit (SIU) and the Hawks raided an accounting firm in Kimberley on Wednesday as part of their R1.4 billion investigation into the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said a search-and-seizure order was granted by the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court, following a tip-off from a whistle-blower suggesting that certain accounting firms and accountants were allegedly engaged in criminal activities by aiding non-profit organisations (NPOs) and non-profit companies (NPCs) in preparing and producing fraudulent financial statements that were submitted to the NLC in support of their applications for grant funding.

“One of the requirements for NLC grant funding in terms of the Lotteries Act is that an applicant must submit an audited financial statement together with a duly completed application form,” explained Kganyago.

He stated that a whistle-blower alleged that several NPOs and NPCs submitted fraudulent financial statements to the NLC, which were prepared, produced and signed off by the directors and or representatives of the accountants without any supporting bank statements.

“The law enforcement agencies searched and seized laptops and relevant documents to assist with the SIU’s investigation into the affairs of NLC, which is estimated to be approximately R1.4 billion.”

The SIU was, in terms of Proclamation R32 of 2020, authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of NLC and the conduct of NLC officials and to recover any financial losses suffered by the state.

Kganyago added that the SIU would refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovered during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action.

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