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Gupta-linked Homix did not challenge forfeiture of R14m, says SARB official

SARB official Elijah Mazibuko said an addition 13 cross-border foreign exchange transactions by Homix amounting to R51.8 million had been flagged in 2015.

A YouTube screen grab of Elijah Mazibuko testifying at the state capture commission of inquiry on 7 June 2018.

JOHANNESBURG - A South African Reserve Bank (SARB) official has told the state capture inquiry that the Gupta-linked company Homix was summoned by the bank to explain suspicious activity in its accounts amounting to R14 million.

SARB official Elijah Mazibuko said the company failed to do so and the money was then taken by the state.

Mazibuko said the forfeiture was never challenged by the company.

He said Homix had conducted a number of transactions via its Mercantile Bank account.

In December 2016, the SARB issued a notice of forfeiture declaring over R14 million to the State due to suspicious cross border activities.

Mazibuko said it was strange that Homix never came forward to claim its millions.

“When you talk about these type of transactions, there’s something that is called trade-based money laundering and it is a process whereby criminals use legitimate trade to hide their criminal proceeds from unscrupulous sources whatsoever, so the trade has to look legit,” he said.

Mazibuko said 13 cross-border foreign exchange transactions by Homix amounting to R51.8 million had been flagged in 2015. He said the R14 million forfeited by Homix was from an additional three cross-border transactions.

Mazibuko said Homix presented false documentation to Mercantile Bank.

“There was 13 (transactions) plus three which was 16. The three that were forwarded to us to look at by Mercantile Bank they were blocked and then the money, I think, amounted to about R14.4 million,” said Mazibuko.

Homix has also been implicated in irregular Transnet tenders.

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