NAMED: Gigaba
JOHANNESBURG - Britsh bank HSBC has said that it would be reviewing its "exposure" to the Gupta's and according to reports, has since closed a number of accounts for associated front companies linked to the family. 

The decision follows a Wall Street Journal report which detailed how the family used HSBC bank accounts in Dubai to transfer money through firms linked to suspected kickbacks. Last week Labour MP and former anti-apartheid activist Lord Peter Hain asked authorities to investigate HSBC for "possible criminal complicity," after it allegedly failed to take action on internal concerns relating to the Guptas transactions in the bank. 

Hain told the House of Lords that over R750 million of illicit funds may have been moved by HSBC. Hain told a television interview that he was asked by high-ranking ANC members to flag suspected criminal activity with the bank.

"We've started to uncover bits of it with HSBC making this admission, it's good that they have made it, they need to do more and the other banks need to as well," he said.

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"I've got colleagues investigating this in Europe too, because European banks, I'm sure, are also involved in this money laundering through Dubai and Hong Kong. What this means is that billions are being stolen from South African taxpayers, which should be spent on vital services in health and schools and new housing and so on, rather than secretly smuggled abroad and going into the back pockets of monopoly capital.”

Hain said there was a need for international cooperation on the probe.

"There's been a lot of exposure of corruption involving the same people but they haven't been able to track down the money laundry, you can only do that, you can only stop it if Hong Kong cooperates with Dubai, which cooperates with London and with Washington and Pretoria," he said.

He said that South Africans were the ones bearing the brunt of illicit flowing funds, "literally billions and billions, many thousands of billions are going missing into the pockets of criminals and international criminals - destroying the ability of governments to invest taxpayers money."

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE