By Se-Anne Rall21h ago
DURBAN – FORMER ANC MP Vincent Smith has had to hand over his assets, including his property, wholly-owned company Euro Blitz 48 (Pty) Ltd, and his family trust be restrained up to the value of R46 million.
Smith, who has been charged with fraud and corruption relating to benefits he received from state capture-accused company Bosasa, received the court order yesterday.
Investigating Directorate (ID) spokesperson, Sindisiwe Twala said Smith has to hand over control of his assets to a court-appointed curator.
She said the restraint order granted to the National Director of Public Prosecutions under section 26 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca) extends not only to Smiths property, and that of his family trust and his company Euro Blitz 48, but also to certain property of his daughter, Brumilda Smith, and the property of any other person or entity that received an affected gift under section 12 of Poca.
Twala said Smith and the other named related parties are prohibited from dealing with and/or disposing of the restrained property while the restraint order is in place.
Trevor Hills of PwC has been appointed by the court as the curator bonis to take control of and preserve the assets pending the outcome of criminal proceedings instituted against Smith and Euro Blitz 48, she said.
Twala said that in October last year, Smith, Euro Blitz 48 and their co-accused Angelo Agrizzi appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court on fraud and corruption charges arising from gratifications to the approximate value of R800 000 accepted by Smith and Euro Blitz from Agrizzi and/or Bosasa.
She said Smith served on and chaired the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that had oversight of the Department of Correctional Services while Bosasa was under scrutiny for winning contracts worth more than R1 billion from the department amid allegations that the contracts were corruptly awarded.
According to Twala, the restraint order is also necessary to preserve assets while investigations continue into additional unlawful activities from which Smith derived corrupt benefits not disclosed either to the SA Revenue Service or the Registrar of Parliamentary Members Interests.
In the restraint application, ID head, advocate Hermione Cronje, said the evidence reveals a pattern of corrupt activities that took place over a period of approximately a decade, during which Smith unlawfully enriched himself in exchange for the use of his political influence.
He used Euro Blitz 48 (Pty) Ltd as a money-laundering vehicle to receive proceeds of those unlawful activities on his behalf and conceal the nature and ownership of the proceeds, Cronje said.
Smith also faces charges of tax fraud and evasion for receipt of payments not declared to Sars.
The restraint application details the following benefits received by Smith and/or Euro Blitz 48:
- Security upgrades valued at R200 000 installed at Smiths Roodepoort residence by a Bosasa company without charge.
- Two cash payments totalling R671 743.90 paid into the Euro Blitz 48 account by Agrizzi and/or Bosasa and transferred to Smith.
- Cash deposits totalling R1 150 600 deposited into the Euro Blitz 48 account between 2013 and 2018, while Smith was a prominent parliamentarian. The source of the cash deposits was concealed and Smith used them for his benefit.
- Payments totalling R17 081 613.46 made into the Euroblitz 48 account (and used by Smith for his benefit) between 2007 and 2018 by property development companies in terms of consultancy agreements that appointed Euro Blitz 48 to expedite applications for land development rights and procure positive outcomes in those applications from the Gauteng provincial government.
- An amount of R9 009 723.54 being Smiths assessed tax liability.
Smiths assets (and those of Euro Blitz 48 and Smiths family trust) will be restrained pending the finalization of the fraud and corruption case and/or the tax charges.