The Gauteng High Court has ordered the seizure of R46 million in assets belonging to former Parliamentarian Vincent Smith, including his property, wholly-owned company and his family trust.

Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Twala said that Smith had been handed a copy of the restraint order directing him to hand over control of his assets to a court-appointed curator. 

The restraint order was granted to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) under section 26 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) and extends not only to Smith’s property, and that of his family trust and his company, Euro Blitz 48, but also to a property owned by his daughter, Brumilda Smith, and the property of any other person or entity that received an affected gift under section 12 of POCA.  

Smith and the other 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 seized assets, pending the outcome of criminal proceedings instituted against Smith and Euro Blitz 48. 

Smith, Euro Blitz 48 and their co-accused Angelo Agrizzi appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court on October 1 on fraud and corruption charges arising from gratifications of approximately R800 000 accepted by Smith and Euro Blitz from Agrizzi and/or BOSASA.  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 amidst allegations that the contracts were corruptly awarded. 

Twala said the restraint order was also necessary to preserve assets, while investigations continue into additional alleged unlawful activities from which Smith derived corrupt benefits not disclosed either to SARS or the Registrar of Parliamentary Members’ interests.  

Investigating Directorate Head Advocate Hermione Cronje stated in the restraint application before Justice Matojane why more than R800 000 should be restrained: “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’.”

The restraint application details highlighted following benefits received by Smith and/or Euro Blitz 48:

* Security upgrades valued at R200 000 installed at Smith’s 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 Smith’s assessed tax liability.  

“Smith’s assets and those of Euro Blitz 48 and Smith’s family trust will be restrained pending the finalization of the fraud and corruption case and/or the tax charges,” Twala said.

Smith is also facing charges of tax fraud and evasion for receipt of payments not declared to SARS.

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Presh JM Reporter

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