RANJENI MUNSUSAMY: Major banks to testify as Zondo commission chases the Gupta money
'To track the flow of funds, the extensive Gupta ecosystem that spans SA, Dubai, India, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore needs to be mapped out'
This week, SA's four major banks will appear to explain for the first time the closure of Gupta accounts. Between December 2015 and April 2016, FirstRand, Nedbank, Barclays Africa and Standard Bank closed the accounts of Gupta companies. The brothers tried to apply political pressure on the banks which backfired and exposed their dodgy transactions.
Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan sought a declaratory court order stating that he could not get involved. Along with the Gupta companies, he cited the four banks as well as the director of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) as respondents.
In August 2016, former FIC director Murray Michell issued a certificate identifying 72 "suspicious" transactions worth R6.8bn. In December 2016, FirstRand said it had closed the Gupta accounts because of suspicion of money laundering.