NPA freezes Regiments Capital’s assets over Transnet-Gupta corruption

NPA Investigative Directorate head advocate Hermione Cronje speaks at a press conference, 24 May 2019, in Pretoria. Picture: Michel Bega

R1.1bn of the Gupta-linked company’s revenue is alleged to be the proceeds of crime.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) Investigating Directorate has obtained a restraint order against the assets of controversial company Regiments Capital, which has been accused of involvement in Gupta-linked state capture.

This follows the head of the directorate, Hermione Cronje, embarking on an investigation into fraud and corruption related to Transnet.

The NPA has reportedly flagged R1.1 billion of Regiments’ revenue as the proceeds of crime, and the Assets Forfeiture Unit has seized assets to this value after the High Court in Johannesburg granted the directorate a restraint order, on Wednesday.

The seizure of assets sees the three people believed to have been caught up in state capture through their work for Regiments – Eric Wood, Niven Pillay and Litha Nyhonyha – forced to surrender the assets of all their companies and family trusts.

“The order relates to charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering perpetrated when Regiments acted as transaction advisers to Transnet and performed investment services to the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund (TSDBF),” said a statement from the NPA.

The application for the restraint order was timed to coincide with the defendants’ assets being released from an anti-dissipation order in favour of the TSDBF.

READ MORE: Transnet to get R180m back from Gupta-linked Regiments Capital

“The likely consequence of such release was that the defendants’ most important liquid assets, in the forms of shares and cash, would have been dissipated.

“The restraint order ensures that the pensioners who depend on the TSDBF will have access to the shares they are entitled to; in addition the curator has restrained approximately R600 million in cash.

“The criminal investigations into the conduct of the Regiments Group are at an advanced stage.

“An application for the search and seizure of the Regiments server, that has been the subject of an Anton Piller order, can now be obtained and the server analysed for evidence.

“Seizing the ill-gotten gains of those responsible for the looting of the state coffers is an important part of the NPA strategy to address the rampant corruption in this country,” the statement concludes.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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