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Money laundered through SOEs as Gupta associate made millions, inquiry hears

This was revealed by Standard Bank’s head of compliance Ian Sinton who took the stand at the inquiry on Tuesday.

A screengrab shows Standard Bank's Ian Sinton giving evidence at the Zondo Commission of inquiry on 17 September 2018.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission has heard how millions of rands flowed from state-owned enterprises (SOE)'s such as Transnet to Gupta-linked businessman Salim Essa, even though he didn’t do any work for the SOEs.

This was revealed by Standard Bank’s head of compliance Ian Sinton who took the stand at the inquiry on Tuesday.

He gave insight to the bank’s decision to cut ties with entities related to the controversial family, saying there were suspicious transactions that flowed in and out of the company’s accounts without proper explanations.

Last year, an AmaBhungane investigation revealed that from 2014, Regiments Capital was earning more than R400 million a year in consultancy fees from Transnet, with Gupta linked businessmen Essa claiming between 30% and 50% of that amount.

The commissions’ Advocate Vincent Maleka thought Ian Sinton would have an answer: "I was told that he was the person responsible for procuring the work at Transnet. What he did to get the work procured, I don’t know."

It became clear to Maleka that Essa was getting paid for securing the contracts from Transnet.

The commission believes this kind of scheme proves how money was laundered through state-owned entities.

The commission is expected to resume on Wednesday morning in Parktown with testimony from former business rescue practitioner of Optimum coal mine, Piers Marsden.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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