South Africa: Guptas Wove an Intricate Global Web of Money Laundering, Commission Hears

Left: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Top-right: Ace Magashule. Bottom-right: Former president Jacob Zuma.
analysis

'Round-tripping', 'smurfing' and 'cash firebreaks' were detailed in the Gupta enterprise's internal ledgers, which reveal how South African taxpayers' money was laundered through the Guptas' international web, said Paul Holden, director of investigations at London-based Shadow World Investigations.

The flow of Estina Dairy project money between various South African and offshore Gupta companies with at least 17 local and international bank accounts between them was presented to the Zondo commission on Thursday, 3 December.

The Estina Dairy project was created as a cash cow for the Gupta brothers while Mosebenzi Zwane was agriculture MEC under the then Free State premier, Ace Magashule.

No questions asked as millions flowed to Estina dairy project

Presenting the evidence, Paul Holden, who is director of investigations at London-based Shadow World Investigations, showed how R280,202,652 paid by the Free State provincial government into the Guptas' Estina account was circulated through various Gupta-controlled companies and bank accounts and paid into the ill-fated dairy project to make it appear there was a total of R880,345,365.83 moving through the account during the life of the project from 2012 to 2016.

This money laundering practice, known as "round-tripping", according to Holden, was in order to make it appear an...

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