Tebogo Tshwane | Mail & Guardian |

The widespread looting and corruption by the Gupta family and its associates were enabled not only by political individuals but also by banks and other financial sector institutions, which aided the illicit activities of the family’s network of businesses.

This is according to The Bankers, the first volume of the Corporations and Economic Crimes report by the nonprofit Open Secrets.

Open Secrets focuses on the roles of the Indian state-owned Bank of Baroda and Nedbank, whose names have come up in many suspicious transactions that benefited the family.

The Bankers seeks to dispel the myth that criminality in the private sector is not widespread and the effect is not as serious as corruption in the public sector. More often than not, the two sectors collude.

“State capture is deeply woven into the fabric of the country’s history and it is not surprising that its latest manifestation has again revealed systematic attempts by private actors to repurpose public institutions for their own benefit,” reads the Open Secrets report.

“Just as private banks were essential to the continuation of apartheid, there is increasing evidence that contemporary state capture in South Africa and the related looting of state-owned enterprises by Gupta-linked companies could not have occurred without the help of banks.”

The imputation is that the Guptas would not have been able to launder money without what appears to be “banks helping them or turning a blind eye and ignoring their obligations to report suspicious transactions”.

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