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NPA wants to claw back another R577m looted from Transnet - report

Jan 26 2020 13:48
The unveiling of Loco42 - the most advanced and mo

The unveiling of Loco42 - the most advanced and most locally built diesel locomotive in SA, on June 27, 2012 in Pretoria. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Deaan Vivier)

The National Prosecuting Authority's Investigating Directorate is expanding its attempts to retrieve billions in funds looted from state-owned rail agency Transnet, according to a report from the Sunday Times.

In a new affidavit filed earlier this week by ID head Hermione Cronje, the authority reportedly gives evidence arguing that Transnet paid Gupta-linked Regiments Capital R1.685bn, which is some R577m more than the R1.108bn originally stated.

A court date has not been set.

The case relates to Regiments executives Litha Nyhonyha and Niven Pillay, as well as Trillian Capital Partners CEO Eric Wood. Wood was a former boss of Regiments, but kept a large stake in the financial services company even after he left as a director, Fin24 previously reported.

The trio stand to face multiple charges related to their alleged roles in the state capture project, including racketeering, money laundering and fraud.

Wood, Nyhonyha and Pillay have been accused of working with close Gupta associate Salim Essa, receiving large sums in irregular payments from state-owned enterprises.

The personal wealth of Trillian Capital Partners CEO Eric Wood increased dramatically a few years after he met the Guptas and Essa, Fin24 previously reported.

The NPA has already obtained a wide-ranging court order freezing over R1bn worth of assets of the current and former directors of Regiments. The NPA has also seized Regiments' servers for investigation.

In November last year, in a separate matter, the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund was paid a settlement amount of approximately R530m by Regiments.

According to the Sunday Times report, Cronje said the additional R577m was discovered in examination of the Fundudzi report, commissioned by National Treasury, which probed allegations of state capture at Transnet and Eskom.

Wood's lawyer, Kevin Hacker, told the paper: "Our client declines to litigate through the media and the falsity of the allegations concerned will be ventilated before court."

Compiled by Marelise van der Merwe

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