De­tails re­leased of VBS ‘Great Bank Heist’

Sunday Tribune - - METRO -

A FOREN­SIC re­port by in­ves­ti­ga­tors ap­pointed by the Re­serve Bank into the fail­ure of VBS Mu­tual Bank has found that there is no hope of sal­vaging the in­sti­tu­tion and de­tails how it was cap­tured by cor­rupt direc­tors and ac­com­plices with po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions.

The re­port, ti­tled “The Great Bank Heist”, was re­leased by the cen­tral bank on Wed­nes­day and finds that about 50 peo­ple gra­tu­itously re­ceived R1.894 bil­lion from the bank over a three-year pe­riod start­ing in March 2015. Most of that money flowed to VBS ex­ec­u­tives and en­ti­ties linked to them, no­tably Vele In­vest­ments, re­sult­ing in the “sig­nif­i­cant im­pov­er­ish­ment” of the bank’s de­pos­i­tors.

The re­port was penned by ad­vo­cate Terry Mo­tau, who led the probe along with Werks­mans At­tor­neys, and rec­om­mends that crim­i­nal sanc­tions be brought against the cul­prits, that funds be frozen by the As­set For­fei­ture Unit to re­cover the spoils and that steps be taken against KPMG.

It found that the firm signed off on the bank’s state­ments though it was aware of its R1bn short­fall.

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