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FBI To Probe Guptas' US Links

20 October 2017

In a separate report by the Financial Times, UK authorities have been urged to investigate two financial groups - HSBC and Standard Chartered - for possible ties to the Guptas.

His concerns relate to links between South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and a wealthy business family, the Guptas.

"Will the Chancellor ensure the Financial Conduct Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and the National Crime Agency investigate HSBC, Standard Chartered and Baroda Banks, which expert South African whistle-blowers believe must have been conduits for the corrupt proceeds of money stolen from their taxpayers and laundered through Dubai and Hong Kong?"

Responding to Hain's letter, the chancellor said he had referred his concerns to the SFO, FCA and NCA and had also asked his officials to discuss the matter with the UK High Commission in South Africa.

In an emailed response to The National, the bank added: "Standard Chartered takes its responsibility to combat financial crime very seriously and is fully committed to doing business in accordance with local and worldwide regulatory and legal requirements".

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Both the Guptas and Mr Zuma have strongly denied the allegations, claiming they are part of a "politically motivated witch-hunt".

It's being reported that the FBI is investigating cash flows between South African Gupta-owned companies, Dubai and a company owned by Ashish and Amol in the United States.

The Chancellor says the government recognizes that "tackling corruption requires collective worldwide action".

"The FCA is already in contact with both banks named and will consider carefully further responses received", the regulator said.

British Treasury chief Philip Hammond passed on allegations raised in a letter by former Cabinet Minister Peter Hain to the Financial Conduct Authority, the National Crime Agency and the Serious Fraud Office.

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In what could be the biggest development so far regarding the Gupta email leaks, America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is said to have launched a probe into the immigrant Indian family by focusing on two nephews who are United States citizens.

Spokespeople for HSBC and Standard Chartered declined to comment.

In his initial letter to Hammond, dated September 25, Hain says it became clear to him that "this Gupta/Zuma criminal network is not localised to SA - indeed, it has been enabled by a transnational money-laundering network".

Ex-Northern Ireland secretary Lord Hain said the chancellor had agreed the matter would be looked into.

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FBI To Probe Guptas' US Links