Diamonds missing from safety deposit box.
OVER R8 million in diamonds, foreign currency and luxury watches that were sold in alleged contravention of a state capture court order will be probed in a Transnet corruption case.
On Tuesday, during a South Gauteng High Court virtual hearing, businessman Kubentheran Moodley testified to what happened to his safety-deposit box, which the state said was worth about R8.3m and was part of the R232m court order that restrained assets belonging to Moodley and his company Albatime.
According to the Investigative Directorate (ID), which is the year-old crack corruption unit within the National Prosecuting Authority, Moodley is part of a criminal probe linked to graft involving Gupta-linked Regiment Capital Advisory services for Transnet.
Regiment gained notoriety last year for Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund following a series of deals and alleged money laundering transactions which the fund contended had ended up helping the Guptas pay for their acquisition of Optimum Coal Mine.
Last month, Moodley was ordered to give the ID his safety box, which ID head Hermione Cronje said in an affidavit contained foreign currency, including US dollars, euros and Indian rupees, worth R2.2m; local cash worth R3.3m; and Krugerrand coins worth R3.1m.
Cronje, who was relaying information from the curator Mike Stewart, added in her affidavit that Moodley’s box also contained “38 articles” of diamonds, jewellery and watches, which had not been quantified by the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
“The contents of the safety deposit boxes remain Mr Moodley’s realisable assets, in that they are either held by third parties on his behalf, alternatively that he has affected gifts of them,” Cronje stated in her affidavit.
“Others will require a little longer to dissipate, such as jewellery and special stones. With every passing day, it becomes more difficult for the curator to follow the trail of these assets, and recover them or their value…”
On Tuesday, Moodley’s legal representative, Dawie Joubert, belligerently fought to have the media removed from the virtual hearing, saying that his client would be revealing “confidential information” about what happened to the safety-deposit box.
However, in an affidavit from Moodley, he said he had “disposed of the (safety deposit boxes) and its contents prior to the court order (to restrain his assets) being granted”.
This, Moodley said, was to “pay debt” of an undisclosed amount to an unnamed loan shark referred to as Mr X.
The Star has been informed that the curator will be conducting further investigations into Moodley’s claims, as well as the time frame of his assertions that these were sold prior to the order being given.
Sindi Twala, spokesperson for the ID, confirmed that Stewart was ordered by Judge Brian Spilg to probe Moodley’s claims.
“The ID is satisfied that the order of Judge Spilg ensures that the restraint order in the ID’s favour will be given effect to,” Twala said.
The matter returns next month for Stewart’s report.