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Gupta firm: 'Smear campaign' preventing 1000s from being paid

Jun 12 2016 15:21
Carin Smith

Johannesburg - Oakbay Investments, a company controlled by the Gupta family, said on Sunday it is very happy to work directly with the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) to resolve any questions regarding allegations made in a Sunday paper.

The Guptas are allegedly under the microscope for illegally sending money out of South Africa, reported the Sunday Times.

A source told the newspaper that teams from Sarb and Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) had asked the Indian Bank of Baroda for documents on deposits made by the Gupta family into their accounts in the bank.

READ: Guptas cash movements under microscope - report

The money trail apparently stops in these banks, which means the money might have been taken to an offshore account, which a government source told the newspaper is likely in Dubai.  

The source told the Sunday Times that the only conclusion one could make is "that the money is going to be taken somewhere else".

"We are very clear that we have done nothing wrong. To date, we have had no contact from Sarb or any other institution around these unfounded allegations and we would expect any respected journalist to ensure on the record confirmation rather than rely on faceless sources," Nazeem Howa, CEO of Oakbay Investments, said in the statement issued on Sunday afternoon.

In his view there is an ongoing smear campaign to further prevent Oakbay from working with any bank.

"So we can’t pay our thousands of workers, who are ordinary SA citizens. It is clear that the biggest problem in this country - jobs and the lack of them – doesn’t matter to some elements of the business establishment,” said Howa.

In his view, the tactics of "leaks, smears, faceless 'sources', zero evidence, lies and repeating lies until they get accepted as truth" are being used by "many media houses" which he claims have been "captured" by the business establishment.

ALSO READ: Probe of Gupta money moves already demanded months ago - DA

oakbay investments  |  guptas  |  sa economy
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