United States and United Kingdom regulators probe banks' ties to South Africa's Gupta case

Pauline Gross
October 20, 2017

It's being reported that the FBI is investigating cash flows between South African Gupta-owned companies, Dubai and a company owned by Ashish and Amol in the United States.

The FT reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been probing the issue for some time, and will continue to investigate companies and individuals tied to the family, and allegations of corruption.

The FBI investigation reportedly will focus on the nephews of Atul and Ajay Gupta - Ashish and Amol Gupta, who are American citizens.

According to letters seen by the Guardian, Lord Hain wrote to Hammond last month after whistleblowers told him that hundreds of millions of pounds had been illicitly moved out of South Africa via Hong Kong and Dubai, and that United Kingdom banks may have been compromised, since they have strong presences in those financial centres. According to documentation seen by the Financial Times, Brookfield received payments to a U.S. from Accurate Investments in 2014 - the company implicated in the alleged laundering of R30 million, ties to the 2013 Gupta wedding.

Standard Chartered says it takes combating financial crime "very seriously".

Hain said banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, should review transactions involving individuals and companies linked to the Gupta family.

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Lord Hain told the Press Association: "I have written to the Chancellor asking for British authorities to investigate British financial institutions that may have been used as conduits for money laundering".

Activist Peter Hain has enlisted the help of UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to track down about R7bn in money thought to have been laundered through the Guptas' networks, and ensure it is returned to SA's Treasury.

The family's close relationship with President Jacob Zuma has allegedly enabled them to benefit financially from state resources. The Guptas deny any wrongdoing and they have not been convicted of any crime.

The Financial Conduct Authority has told media that they are "already in contact with both banks named and will consider carefully further responses received".

There has been no comment from Gupta spokesman, Gary Naidoo.

Other reports by GizPress

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