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Gupta family case: BoB says will cooperate with South Africa in probe

The statement comes a day after the Hawks unit of the South Africa police conducted a search and seizure operation at its branches

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi/Johannesburg 

Bank of Baroda

Amidst probe over alleged fraud involving the Indian-origin and former Jacob Zuma, of Baroda (BoB) on Saturday said it will cooperate in all investigations of the South African authorities.

Guptas, who were considered close to former Zuma, had accounts with BoB, which has got permission to close down its operations in South Africa,

of Baroda has cooperated with South African authorities in all investigations of matters relating to the Gupta family, including how the Guptas and their used their accounts at various banks in South Africa, the said in a statement.

The statement comes a day after the Hawks unit of the police conducted a search and seizure operation at its branches.

"The action by the South African Police Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation is no exception, as fully cooperated with the Hawks in all respects. Presently, we want to emphasise that this search and seizure operation is not for investigation on Bank of Baroda," it said.

This requisition by the Hawks is in relation to the continuing ongoing investigation of the Gupta family, it said, adding, the documents which have been requested by the Hawks are account opening, account statements and supporting vouchers.

The bank further said it will continue to cooperate with all investigations in which authorities seek the bank's assistance.

"We will continue to have physical presence in South Africa, notwithstanding closure of the operations, till regulatory investigations are concluded and we are informed by competent authorities that our physical presence is no longer required," it said.

The statement said many of these documents requisitioned by Hawks have been shared with the agency appointed by South African Reserve Bank as a part of their investigation and further some of these documents have been subpoenaed and been submitted to the investigating agencies, it said.

It is also alleged that BoB had been working with the Gupta after all South African banks severed ties with them following corruption allegations against Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta involving billions of rands.

The three brothers, as well as Duduzane Zuma, son of former who was forced to resign February this year, are being sought by authorities investigating these allegations.

Having initiated closure of all Gupta-related accounts in July 2017, BoB ultimately ceased all operations in as of April 1, 2018, it said.

"The bank now is in the process of winding down and exiting the South Africa market in close co-ordination with the South African Reserve Bank. The exiting process from South Africa is in line with Bank's international reorganisation plans," it said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 22:57 IST