A Durban exporter has been slapped with a hefty R500 000 fine with conditions after being found guilty of the illegal export of waste paper in contravention of the International Trade Administration Act.
Haashim’s Agency (Pty) Ltd was sentenced to a fine of R500 000 or five years’ imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years with conditions, in the Durban Magistrate’s Court this week after the company pleaded guilty to the export of waste paper without obtaining an export permit in terms of the Act.
The waste paper business, based in Chatsworth, was represented in court by one of its directors, Afzal Ismail.
NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said that the company had arranged for 39 containers filled with waste scrap paper to be delivered to the South African Customs Depot in Durban, for export to India. The consignment was arranged in November 2021.
“The company was fully aware that this cargo required an export permit, however, they registered the cargo under an incorrect tariff code - one that does not require an export permit - to avoid applying for the permit,” Ramkisson-Kara said.
“They were found out after an inspection by the Customs’ Illicit Trade Unit and the containers were subsequently detained,” she said.
The conditions of the suspended sentence are that the company must pay a direct fine of R200 000, or undergo five years’ imprisonment. A total of R100 000 of this fine must be paid by January 15, 2022. The remaining R100 000 must be paid in five consecutive monthly instalments of R20 000 each, commencing on February 3, 2022, with the final payment made on or before June 3, 2022.
“The National Prosecuting Authority commends the excellent work done by customs officials in ensuring that corruption and fraud are stopped in their tracks as it deprives the government revenue to deliver on services for citizens of this country,” Ramkisson-Kara said. The matter was finalised by regional court prosecutor Brian Cele.