Hawks raid Bank of Baroda as part of state capture investigation

2018-06-08 13:38
The Hawks head offices. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

The Hawks head offices. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

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The Hawks are currently conducting a search and seizure operation at two branches of the Bank of Baroda relating to its state capture investigation.

The operations are taking place at its Sandton and Durban branches.

The purpose of the search and seizure is to obtain documentation or articles relating to the investigation. Equipment relating of the investigation is also expected to be seized.

In papers seen by News24, the Hawks say in recent years there has been a "public outcry as to the alleged misuse and/or theft of state owned enterprises where it appears that these monies are channeled to specific companies in the private sector".

"The Bank of Baroda was one of the entities the public had complained about as having received illicit funds and then channeled them either directly or indirectly to the Gupta family and/or companies associated with them.

"It is necessary to set out the involvement of Bank of Baroda with the receiving and transferring of funds received from either SOEs and/or entities under investigations where such entities and/or individuals were not entitled to those funds...," reads the papers.

Estina raid

In February, eight people were arrested during raids at various locations, including the Gupta compound in Saxonwold and their offices in Sandton in connection with the Estina Vrede Dairy project.

One hundred black emerging farmers were promised five cows each as part of the empowerment scheme, but they never received them.

Gifted to the Gupta-linked Estina in 2013 under a free 99-year lease by the provincial agriculture department, the farm has been one of the most scandalous transactions between the Guptas and a government entity.

The #GuptaLeaks revealed in 2017 how at least R30m paid to the Guptas, via the farm, ended up funding the family's lavish Sun City wedding in 2013.

Last month the Free State high court ruled in favour of Gupta-linked companies and individuals who challenged a provisional restraint order targeting assets estimated at R250m.

The NPA also suffered a huge setback in March when the High Court in Bloemfontein ruled in favour of controversial Gupta brother Atul in his application to have a preservation order, obtained against him by the NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), set aside.

Judge Fouche Jordaan ruled at the time that the R10m in Gupta's accounts be unfrozen. He, however, amended his previous order pertaining to Gupta-linked companies and Bank of Baroda. The AFU had initially wanted R220m preserved.

Read more on:    bank of baroda  |  hawks  |  state capture  |  corruption

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