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Gupta enterprise used criminal funds derived from state capture to raise capital to purchase assets, Zondo inquiry hears

London researcher Paul Holden, of Shadow World Investigations. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

London researcher Paul Holden, of Shadow World Investigations. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 25, 2021

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The Zondo Commission heard on Friday how the Gupta enterprise made use of its access to the state to make assets, and left the state suffer the collateral harm.

Testifying before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Shadow World Investigations researcher Paul Holden said the Gupta enterprise used criminal funds that were derived from state capture to raise capital to purchase assets.

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Holden said they used a system that used monies pooled from advance payments made to the Gupta enterprise.

“The state ended paying over half of the assets and suffered huge collateral harm,” he said.

During his testimony, Holden showed an example of how one Gupta enterprise, Centaur Ventures, which was headed by an in-law of the controversial family, was responsible for the movement of funds totalling R2.7 billion into the accounts of Centaur Mining and Optimum Coal Mine between January 2016 and March 2018.

He also told the commission how funds from Trillian, Eskom and Giffton Line Trading were moved to South Africa to fund the purchase of Optimal Coal Mine.

Holden told the commission of attempts by Centaur Mining to make a claim of a significant amount in one of the largest remaining asset of Optimum Coal Mine, which was placed under liquidation.

He also told the commission how the companies allowed Tegeta Exploration to avail loans against the terms of deposits made with the Bank of Baroda to purchase Optimum Coal Mines.

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