Bank of Baroda helped Guptas transport money out of SA - report
CAPE TOWN - The Gupta family allegedly utilised the services of the Bank of Baroda for nearly a decade and the bank helped the family transport money out of SA, reports eNCA.
This comes after a report, by Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, showed how the state-owned bank assisted Gupta-owned enterprises to transport money out of South Africa.
The global investigative organisation also claimed that it had proof that the Indian bank was involved in ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of dodgy transactions.
There are also records which show the bank’s South African branch granted unapproved loan guarantees.
The report also makes reference to the Gupta’s irregular purchase of the Optimum coal mine.
The bank’s head office in India allegedly denies any misconduct.
Just earlier this month it was announced that the Bank of Baroda would be closing its operations in SA, by the end of March.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) announced that Bank of Baroda had notified the Office of the Registrar of Banks of its exit from South Africa.
The Registrar, which is part of SARB, was said to be in discussions with the Bank of Baroda (BoB) to ensure its orderly withdrawal from South Africa.
BoB has attracted speculation from South African regulators, political leaders and the media for it's role as Gupta family’s banker of choice.
In a statement on it's website, BoB said, "In this regard we would like to clarify that the South African operations of Bank of Baroda have always been conducted in accordance with the laws and regulations of the South African Reserve Bank and the Reserve Bank of India.
Days later, BoB then told 702 Radio’s Bruce Whitfield why they were exiting South Africa.
The Money Show’s Whitfield interviewed Bank of Baroda legal representative, Lourens van Staden.
Van Staden said that it is a multi-jurisdictional restructuring. He also pointed out that the bank’s business in SA comprises of less than one-quarter of one percent of the bank’s business.
He concluded that commercially, it isn’t viable for the bank to conduct business in SA.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE