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Hain accuses UK bank of helping Guptas to launder money

Lord Hain says the bank’s headquarters ordered that the flagged illegal transactions be ignored.

FILE: This file photo taken 24 January 2008 shows British politician Peter Hain in central London. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Former anti-apartheid activist Lord Hain has accused a UK based bank of being instrumental in helping the Gupta family’s money laundering project in the country.

Hain addressed the House of Lords on Wednesday night at the second reading of the new money laundering bill.

He told the House that he has produced evidence of illegal transactions between the Gupta family’s South African bank accounts to a British bank conducted in Dubai and Hong Kong.

Hain says the illegal transactions between the Gupta family's South African bank accounts and the British based bank were at some point flagged at suspicious.

But he says the bank’s headquarters ordered that this be ignored.

“That’s an iniquitous breach of legal banking practice in the UK which we trust ministers will never countenance and there’s also an incitement to money laundering which, self-evidently, occurred in this case.”

He says had there been cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the banks, the illegal transactions would have been stopped.

“The devastation wrought on South Africa could have been significantly reduced.”

Hain has requested that the evidence he has, be handed to the serious fraud and the national crime agency.

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