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Money was not removed from Optimum Trust - Oakbay

Oct 17 2016 18:27
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – Oakbay Investments said claims that R1.3bn was paid from the Optimum Rehabilitation Trust are “untrue” and “defamatory”.

In a statement, the group confirmed that “no monies” had been removed from the fund. This follows reports over the weekend that transactions worth R6.8bn involving the Gupta family were featured in a court application filed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) deemed these transactions to be “suspicious” as they did not relate to legitimate business transactions.

Among the 72 transactions, Oakbay confirmed five were linked to the group. In its Sens announcement, Oakbay Resources and Energy stated that the company is in the process of investigating the five transactions and is working with regulatory authorities.

READ: Guptas' Oakbay says only five deals on Gordhan list linked to them

News24 previously reported that the Optimum Mine Rehabilitation transaction was among those that were questioned. Subsidiaries featured in the FIC report include Shiva Uranium, with transactions worth R968m, and Oakbay Investments, with transactions worth R781m.

ALSO READ: HERE IT IS: The full list of 72 'dodgy' Gupta transactions

“The Rehabilitation Fund balance was moved from Optimum Mine Rehabilitation Trust's account with Standard Bank to Bank of Baroda in June 2016. This transfer was due to Standard Bank's closure of all company accounts,” the group stated. Oakbay said that this was the only movement of money from the account. “This movement was with the full permission of the joint Business Rescue Practitioners.”

A certificate from Bank of Baroda (dated 5 October 2016) which confirms the balance of the Rehabilitation Fund. (PDF supplied)

Oakbay plans to release another announcement in response to Gordhan’s affidavit on Tuesday.

ALSO READ: BREAKING: Nazeem Howa quits Oakbay

Chief executive officer Nazeem Howa announced his resignation with immediate effect, due to health issues. Ronica Ragavan, the current financial director, will assume the role of acting CEO.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

optimum coal  |  state capture  |  mining  |  coal mining
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