Published: Thu, November 02, 2017
Finance | By Claude Patterson

HSBC accused of 'possible criminal complicity' in the Gupta money scandal

Allegations of the laundering of South African taxpayers' money by the Guptas have also pricked the interest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Justice, particularly with them having other family members living in the USA.

Mr Hain also demanded an investigation into global bank HSBC for its potential complicity in money laundering by the network linked to Mr Zuma and the three Indian-born brothers from the Gupta family, according to media reports.

The U.K. treasury said it passed the letter to the FCA. Spokesmen for Zuma and the Gupta family didn't immediately respond to phone calls and an email requesting comment.

"The devastation wrought on South Africa could have been significantly reduced".

A former cabinet minister has written to the Financial Conduct Authority urging the regulator to act on what he alleges is evidence HSBC aided money laundering in South Africa.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Wednesday, two weeks after he first voiced concerns about United Kingdom links to the probe, Lord Hain said he had handed new evidence to the chancellor about the alleged involvement of a British bank in the "flagrant robbery" of South African taxpayers.

Lord Hain says the bank's headquarters ordered that the flagged illegal transactions be ignored.

British law enforcement agencies should probe the bank for an "iniquitous breach of legal banking practice" and an "incitement to money laundering" of funds obtained through corruption in South Africa, Peter Hain told the house of lords Wednesday.

HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said the bank is cooperating with the government, stating: "On the inquiries as a result of Lord Hain's letter to the chancellor, obviously we are responding to those inquiries that have come in from the FCA and also from South African authorities, and there is nothing more I can really add at this point in time".

An HSBC spokesperson declined to comment further. While he named the bank to the chancellor, he didn't identify the bank in his remarks.

On Tuesday Hain delivered to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, print-outs of transactions between the Gupta's South African bank accounts to British-based bank accounts held in Dubai and Hong Kong.

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