11 Jun 2018
An elite South Africa police unit raided offices of India’s Bank of Baroda (BOB.NS) on Friday and seized documents as part of an investigation into state corruption under former president Jacob Zuma, a police spokesman said.
Bank of Baroda, which is winding down its operations in South Africa, was thrust into the spotlight two years ago when it started working with the Guptas, a family of Indian-born businessmen who are at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal surrounding Zuma.
Zuma and the Guptas deny wrongdoing.
Police raided Bank of Baroda branches in Johannesburg and Durban and took documents showing bank transactions involving South African state firms, Hangwani Mulaudzi, a spokesman for the police’s elite “Hawks” unit, said.
“We are of the view that Bank of Baroda was used as a conduit for the transfer of illicit funds. The raids are happening as part of ‘state capture’ investigations,” Mulaudzi said, using a phrase coined to describe alleged influence-peddling under Zuma.
A Bank of Baroda employee in Durban who picked up the telephone confirmed the Hawks had visited the bank’s premises on Friday.
“This search and seizure operation is not for investigation on Bank of Baroda. This requisition by the Hawks is in relation to the continuing ongoing investigation of the Gupta family,” the bank said in a statement on Saturday.
– Reporting by Alexander Winning; Additional reporting by Rajendra Jadhav, Reuters, 9 June 2018.
Link to Reuters.
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