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'After former VBS CFO's conviction, they'll go after the politicians soon'

7 October 2020 6:53 PM
Tags:
Corruption
Fraud
Money laundering
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
VBS Mutual Bank
Racketeering
amaBhungane
vbs
VBS Bank
corruption at VBS Mutual Bank
plea agreement
Dewald van Rensburg
Phillip Truter
Former VBS CFO

Phillip Truter will serve seven years in jail after turning state witness. Journo Dewald van Rensburg has the VBS inside story.

The disgraced former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of VBS Mutual Bank has agreed to testify against his fellow-accused in the looting of more than R2 billion from the bank.

Phillip Truter was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sitting in Palm Ridge after he pleaded guilty to charges including corruption, fraud, money laundering, and racketeering.

He'll spend seven years in jail - three years of his sentence have been suspended for five years in terms of a plea deal with the State.

RELATED: NPA applauds former VBS finance chief as he gets 10 years after plea agreement

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has said Truter's testimony will strengthen its case against the other suspects.

Former VBS Mutual Bank chief financial officer Philip Truter appears in the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court on 6 July 2020. Picture: EWN

Bruce Whitfield interviews Dewald van Rensburg, investigative journalist at the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Van Rensburg's also the author of _VBS: A Dream Defrauded _which details exactly how what's essentially a bank robbery, was pulled off.

You had instances where the treasurer of the bank would walk into a branch and have R5 million put into a bag across the counter! The teller would of course be upset about this, completely confused and not at all think it's above board, but that's the order.

Dewald van Rensburg, Investigative journalist - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

It is almost like a traditional bank robbery without a gun because you have the authority of being management.

Dewald van Rensburg, Investigative journalist - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

Van Rensburg says it's possible Phillip Truter decide to spill the beans because he feels slighted.

He had been working at VBS for a decade before the co-accused showed up there... He was valuable to begin with.

Dewald van Rensburg, Investigative journalist - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

He was offered R5 million - R5 million in fake money was provided to him. He managed to extract only about R2 million into his other accounts. That's what you had to do... to make it real money.

Dewald van Rensburg, Investigative journalist - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

There's an indication he was actually surprised by the figures being circulated about what he had stolen, that he feels slighted about the scale of theft attributed to him.

Dewald van Rensburg, Investigative journalist - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

Truter's fellow-accused are expected to appear in court on Thursday.

The prosecutors have clearly concentrated their first efforts on arresting the management of the bank, people from whom testimony about what had happened inside the bank could be procured. It's really only armed with that, that you can go after the politicians, which we presume will happen fairly soon now... within a month or two.

Dewald van Rensburg, Investigative journalist - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

Listen to van Rensburg's insights on The Money Show:


7 October 2020 6:53 PM
Tags:
Corruption
Fraud
Money laundering
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
VBS Mutual Bank
Racketeering
amaBhungane
vbs
VBS Bank
corruption at VBS Mutual Bank
plea agreement
Dewald van Rensburg
Phillip Truter
Former VBS CFO

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