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Gupta-linked ‘fraudster’ nabbed en route to Dubai

Kubentheran Moodley, the Gupta-linked fraud accused who has R232-million in frozen assets and an alleged victim of death threats from a debt collector named “Killer”, was caught allegedly trying to “flee” to Dubai. 

Moodley is expected to appear at the Palmridge specialised commercial crimes court on Wednesday morning to apply for bail after being arrested on Tuesday evening by the Investigating Directorate, working with the police, at OR Tambo International Airport moments before boarding his flight. 

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The directorate is a division of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).  

The Mail & Guardian has listened to a recording of a July 2020 hearing at the high court in Johannesburg, where Moodley had to detail what happened to the safety deposit boxes containing about R8.6-million, which were part of the R232-million seized 2019. 

At the hearing, Moodley said he borrowed R2.2-million in July 2019 from a loan shark known as Mr X, who provided credit at 10% compound interest to gamblers. Moodley testified that Mr X wanted his payment in June last year. Moodley said he had to give “Killer” and Mr X the boxes because they had threatened his family. 

“He [Mr X] said to me: ‘I want my money [and] you better make a plan, or borrow it from somebody. I’m going to kill you [and] I’m going to kill your family’. I was really scared,” Moodley testified. 

The seizing of assets is related to what the Investigating Directorate said in a statement on Tuesday was money laundering and bribes flowing from “contracts that were improperly awarded by Transnet to Regiments Capital and Trillian as well as thefts by Regiments fund managers from the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund”.  

Moodley’s company, Albatime, allegedly received these kickbacks from Regiments, which had paid the Transnet pension fund about R600-million in 2019 to settle being improperly appointed to manage the state-owned company’s defined benefit portfolio. Salim Essa, the owner of Trillian, which worked with Regiments in asset management, was an associate of the Gupta family. 

The directorate’s investigators said that the assets seized from Moodley had not included the safety deposit boxes, which they said contained R5.5-million in foreign and local currencies, as well as R3.1-million in Krugerrands. Also in the boxes were 38 pieces of diamonds, jewellery and watches, which had not been quantified by the state capture commission. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the high court in Johannesburg extended the restraint on Moodley’s assets to November, wherafter the alleged fraudster headed to the airport where he was arrested. 

Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka confirmed the arrest, but would not name the suspect before his bail application. 

But a well-placed source in the NPA told the M&G that Moodley was the suspect “caught trying to flee” at OR Tambo, and that this was linked to his troubles with the Regiments matter. 

“I don’t have further details because it’s not one of the cases [I’m investigating],” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous. 

Moodley is also a former special adviser to former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane

Zwane was close to the Gupta family and scored a free trip to India in October 2012, which was organised by Ashu Chawla who worked for Sahara Computers, which is owned by the Guptas, according to evidence presented at the state capture commission during Zwane’s testimony in May.

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Khaya Koko
Khaya Koko is a journalist with a penchant for reading through legal documents braving the ravages of cold court benches to expose the crooked. He writes about social justice and human-interest stories. Most importantly, he is a card-carrying member of the Mighty Orlando Pirates.

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