Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza informed the Gupta family through their lawyer, Gert van der Merwe, a week ago that they were not under investigation — even though the Hawks had received reports of 72 suspicious transactions through their businesses’ bank accounts from the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) in the past four years. Ntlemeza’s assurance is contained in a letter dated January 16. It is attached to an answering affidavit filed by Oakbay Investments CE Ronica Ragavan in an application brought by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan approached the High Court in Pretoria for a declaratory order on whether the finance minister could intervene between banks and their clients. His founding affidavit contained a certificate from the FIC listing "suspicious" bank transactions totalling almost R6.8bn by companies owned by the family, which could have contributed to the decisions by the nation’s big banks to close their accounts. The matter is expected to be heard on March 28. C...

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