Popcru taken aback by Hawks, FBI cooperation

Johannesburg – The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) on Friday said it was "taken aback" by the Hawks' decision to cooperate with the FBI's investigation into the Gupta family.

"Allegations of state capture and corruption have been a topical issue of concern for many South Africans and beyond, yet our own institutions have chosen to downplay it for so long, only to agree to cooperate with the FBI recently," the union said in a statement.  

Popcru said there was still no sign of investigations into the Gupta family taking place within the country.

- See the #GuptaLeaks site

The union said it was "disheartening and unacceptable" that no one had been questioned about the alleged influence the Gupta family had on state businesses.  

The Guptas, who have close relations with President Jacob Zuma, have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

"The fact that the FBI looks to be far ahead with investigations into the Gupta family while our own Hawks have for so long failed to act on this issue that immensely affects us can only demonstrate that we either have a weak or captured intelligence service, or, at worst, a weak and captured service," the union said.  

FBI using #GuptaLeaks in probe

The Financial Times reported that the FBI had opened an investigation into US links to the Guptas, while the UK has asked financial enforcement agencies to probe possible ties between HSBC and Standard Chartered to the Gupta family.

The FBI is using information from the #GuptaLeaks emails, the Financial Times reported. 

READ MORE: FBI probes US links to Guptas, UK urged to probe banks - reports

Despite reports suggesting otherwise, Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi told News24 that the FBI had not been in contact with them, adding that the Hawks could only assist if they were approached. 

"We have been collaborating with the FBI in many cases. In relation to this one we are disappointed at Popcru... there is no way we can disregard what has been said in the country," he said. 

He said the Hawks had been investigating the Gupta family even before the State of Capture report by the Public Protector was released.

"We took a conscious decision that we cannot ignore the Gupta allegations. We have even added more members into the team and we do weekly reports on progress." 

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