'VBS is being investigated and there is progress in that regard' - Hawks

The Hawks says while it cannot reveal details on its investigation into the fraud and corruption at VBS Mutual Bank, progress has been made.

The bank is back in the spotlight after a forensic report led by Werksmans Attorneys and advocate Terry Motau revealing the widespread looting and subsequent cover-ups in the bank's operations, was made public on Wednesday.

The report published by the South African Reserve Bank shows that close to R2 billion had been looted from the bank by over 50 individuals, between 1 March 2015 and 17 June 2018.

READ: VBS Mutual Bank 'heist' report recommends criminal charges

ALSO READ: Execs at VBS Mutual Bank plundered it to death, it can’t be saved - report

The report further reveals how Brian Shivambu‚ believed to be the brother of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu received R16.1m from “gratuitous payments” from the bank.

Hawks Spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi says they cannot name those implicated and that the unit has yet to decide if it will use the report in its probe.

As we speak now, that matter is receiving serious attention. When it comes to issues of investigations we cannot give details of what we are doing but we can confidently tell the country that VBS is being investigated and there is progress in that regard.

Hangwani Mulaudzi, Hawks spokesperson

Individuals that have been fingered, we cannot mention them. We cannot name and shame people at this stage because it might be detrimental to our investigations. We have now taken a different strategy in terms of the investigations.

Hangwani Mulaudzi, Hawks spokesperson

With the report itself, I am not sure and it has not been confirmed whether it has been given to us for us to be able to look at it but we are dealing with criminal investigation and we will be able to know maybe at a later stage whether we are going to use part of the report as part of our investigation.

Hangwani Mulaudzi, Hawks spokesperson

The report also exposes how middlemen, who acted as fixers between VBS Bank and municipalities, paid bribes to municipal officials to secure deposits into the bank.

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance has challenged the EFF to confirm whether it has received money from VBS Mutual Bank.

DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Kevin Mileham says the EFF and Floyd Shivambu were among the loudest to condemn a move by Sarb to place the bank under curatorship earlier this year after it was unable to pay depositors their money.

They were going on about the fact that this was a white racist plot to bring down a black bank and the more we said no, the more EFF said yes this is what we are trying to do.

Kevin Mileham, DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

In a statement the EFF says it has noted the report and that all those who illegally benefited from the fraud must be criminally prosecuted.

Click on the link below to listen to hear more from Mulaudzi and Milhem...


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