South Africa: Is the Financial Intelligence Centre Investigating the Guptas?

PRESS RELEASEBy David Maynier

Reports suggesting the Guptas may have purchased a R445-million mansion in Dubai reinforces concerns that the Guptas may have illegally moved assets, including large amounts of cash, out of South Africa.

Last month on 15 April 2016, I wrote to the Director of the Financial Intelligence Centre, Murray Michell, requesting him to investigate the allegations surrounding the Guptas.

At that time, there was a grave concern that the Guptas had left South Africa and that their money had illegally followed, or was about to illegally follow, them out of South Africa.

Replying to my request for an investigation on 20 April 2016, the Director said:

"The matter you have raised will be considered in terms of the powers and responsibilities of the Financial Intelligence Centre in terms of legislation."

The reply was evidently designed to obfuscate rather than illuminate.

Since then I have not been able to confirm whether the Financial Intelligence Centre has launched an investigation into the Guptas.

Even the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, refused to reply to a direct question on this matter during last week's National Treasury budget vote debate in Parliament.

I have, therefore, submitted a parliamentary question probing whether the Financial Intelligence Centre is conducting an investigation into whether the Guptas illegally moved assets, including large amounts of cash, out of South Africa.

The reply will hopefully end weeks of zig-zagging around the Financial Intelligence Centre and my request for an investigation into the Guptas.

To sit back and do nothing would amount to allowing an accused to flee the crime scene, with the proceeds of the crime.

David Maynier

Shadow Minister of Finance

Source: Democratic Alliance

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