Bank of Baroda must now be investigated – Natasha Mazzone

DA MP lays charges of money laundering and corruption following OCCRP report

Bank of Baroda must now be investigated for allegedly helping the Guptas launder the people’s money

8 March 2018

The DA today has laid charges of money laundering and corruption against the Bank of Baroda in terms of Sections 29 and 52 of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Act 38 of 2001.

We now implore upon the South African Police Services (SAPS) to promptly and efficiently investigate and test these allegations and bring all those who had a hand in possibly laundering public monies to book.

The DA’s charges follow a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) which found that the bank’s South African branch knowingly laundered money on behalf of the Gupta family.

The OCCRP made some damning findings against the bank, including:

- Officials at the bank’s South African branch deliberately suppressed employees’ reports of questionable Gupta-related transactions so that regulators would not be made aware of them.

- Some transactions and deposits lacked required documentation, and where information was provided, it was either inconsistent or incorrect.

- There were also millions of back-to-back intercompany loans with no legitimate business or legal purpose, in what seems to have been an attempt to disguise the origins of the money.

- Some of the funds supposedly originated from Eskom and Transnet.

- The cash flowing through Gupta family accounts was so large that it dominated the transactions of the entire Bank of Baroda branch in Johannesburg.

It would seem, according to the report, that the Bank of Baroda purposefully enabled the illicit flow of money from state-owned entities to Gupta accounts. If these allegations are true, it would be a violation of the FIC Act, which means there are grounds for possible criminal charges and/or fines.

The Gupta family played an intricate part in the capture of our state and it would seem as though the Bank of Baroda had a hand in assisting their looting.

The DA will utilise every possible avenue to ensure that every single individual who aided and abetted the looting of the public coffers has their day in court.

Issued by Natasha Mazzone, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, 8 March 2018