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Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 12:10
UK banks linked to laundering money stolen from South Africa
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UK banks may have been used to launder money stolen from South Africa, a former cabinet minister has alleged in a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Lord Peter Hain said a South African whistle-blower had indicated the banks "may be inadvertently have been conduits for the corrupt proceeds of money".

The money laundering accusation rests on alleged ties between the country's President Jacob Zuma and a wealthy business family, the Guptas.

Lord Hain, a leading anti-apartheid campaigner who grew up in South Africa, urged UK authorities "to track that stolen money down and make sure that British financial institutions help return it to South African taxpayers".

The former Northern Ireland secretary alleged the issue was "a result of the corruption and cronyism led by President Zuma and close allies the Guptas".

Brothers Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh Gupta have interests in computer, mining, media, travel, energy and technology and employ about 10,000 people through their company Sahara Group.

The Guptas have been accused in the past of wielding influence in South African politics under President Jacob Zuma's administration.

Both President Zuma and the Guptas deny wrongdoing, and say they are victims of a "politically motivated witch-hunt".

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