South Africa’s tax authority has uncovered a $1.8 billion gold scam, in which coins and jewelry were illegally smelted into gold bars for sale overseas, a watchdog said Thursday. The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism said that between 2012 and 2020, the scammers bilked the government for R24.4 billion (1.8 billion dollars, 1.4 billion euros) by defrauding the tax system. A total of 65 companies are implicated, but two of them – one named Germiston-based gold trader Rappa Resources – claimed tax refunds of more than R8 billion in 2019 alone.