Report on VBS recommends criminal charges

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A forensic report into the embattled VBS Mutual Bank has recommended that criminal charges be laid against a range of individuals alleged to have looted about R2 billion from the financial institution.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Wednesday said Advocate Terry Motau had submitted the report on 5 October.

VBS was on 11 March placed under curatorship following what was termed a “serious liquidity crisis” at the mutual bank. The forensic investigation was prompted by a curator finding significant financial losses in VBS.

“The primary objectives of the forensic investigation were to establish whether any of VBS’s business was conducted with the intent to defraud depositors and/or any other creditors of the mutual bank, or for any other fraudulent purpose,” the SARB said on Wednesday.

“The probe was to also ascertain if VBS’s business conduct involved any questionable and/or reckless business practices and/or material non-disclosure, with or without the intent to defraud depositors and/or any other creditors,” the central bank said.

Motau was to also investigate if there had been any irregular conduct by VBS’ shareholders, directors, executive management, staff, stakeholders and/or related parties.

“The SARB has handed over a copy of the report, as well as all the detailed interviews and annexures, to the law enforcement authorities for further investigation. These interviews and annexures will not be released to the public at this stage, as this could compromise any criminal investigation,” said the SARB.

The report, titled “The Great Bank Heist”, paints a sordid details on how monies landed in the bank accounts of certain individuals.

Motau in the report states it was imperative that those who have been identified as participating and benefitting from this criminal enterprise be charged and prosecuted.

The evidence presented in the report, said the central bank, is not a reflection of either the guilt or innocence of any party as not all parties have been given an opportunity to respond to the evidence.

“The report may assist the law enforcement authorities in its investigation into the affairs of VBS. Once their investigations have been concluded, the authorities may decide to institute criminal prosecutions; the courts will be the final adjudicator in this regard,” SARB said.

A copy of the report has also been provided to the Acting Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Mark Kingon. –