Guptas banking on Post Office to solve their money woes
The Guptas are pinning their hopes on the South African Post Office being granted a banking licence as a way to save their businesses.
Evidence has also emerged confirming suspicions that the recent "sale" of their media interests to controversial figure Mzwanele Manyi and their mining assets to little-known Swiss-based investor Charles King was forced on them by the Bank of Baroda, their last remaining banker.
These details are contained in an affidavit submitted by Oakbay Investments acting CEO Ronica Ragavan on behalf of the Guptas in the High Court in Pretoria to interdict the Bank of Baroda from closing the Guptas' accounts at the end of the month.The family's business accounts were shut by the big four banks last year, and the Bank of Baroda has given the Guptas notice that it, too, will close their accounts.
The bank gave the Guptas three months' notice in July, as they have been flagged as high-risk and politically exposed persons.
The Bank of Baroda flagged 45 suspicious transactions totalling R4.5-billion in the 10 months since last August.
The transactions have been reported to the Financial Intelligence Centre.
Some of them include suspected layering, which is part of a money-laundering process wherein people or businesses try to separate illicit money, obscure audit trails and sever the link from its source.
The affidavit revealed that the Guptas would be forced to restructure by disposing of some of their businesses and exploring options to open new accounts.
"They are presently engaging with various local and international financial institutions to explore the possibility of obtaining a viable operational solution to put in place, even temporarily.
"For example, a new bank, known as Postbank, will soon commence offering full banking services," said Ragavan.