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The revelations brought by the #GuptaLeaks emails continue on a weekly basis, with the latest covering the fraud perpetrated by some of the world’s biggest companies. At least seven organisations helped Gupta entities make fraudulent transactions through Transnet deals, it has emerged.

Engineering firms implicated in fraudThe companies identified include multinationals SAP, McKinsey, T-Systems, Liebherr-International and Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries. Bank and accounting records show that two heavy equipment manufacturers – Swiss-based Liebherr-International AG and China’s Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Limited – funnelled nearly R100 million to the Guptas, as Transnet awarded them contracts to supply cranes to South African ports, the reports indicate.

Liebherr was the preferred supplier in the port contracts, but according to an anonymous source, they lost out to Shanghai Zhenhua after they were approached by Guptas to do a deal. Liebherr executive Dieter Schmid told media that “Liebherr has never had an ‘extensive and direct relationship with the Guptas for years’ as alleged”, but admitted the company needed more time to “put the pieces together”.

The emails reveal that a confidential Transnet document, related to a tender for 22 cranes that Liebherr won following the Shanghai Zhenhua move, had been provided to the Guptas. In addition, investigative journalists from amaBhungane linked Liebherr to another apparent Transnet kickback scheme. This one happened in 2015, and was worth R2 million to the Guptas.

AmaBhungane’s investigation indicates that Burlington, a subsidiary of advisory firm Regiments Capital, signed a R5 million contract with Liebherr-Africa to provide it with “market feasibility studies” in relation to the supply of cranes to Transnet. Liebherr made a R2 million down payment to Burlington, which paid 90% of that to a Gupta-owned company called Homix.

The leaked emails indicate that the Guptas received around R42 million from Liebherr over the course of a year and a half. These payments included R28.8 million to Accurate Investments, another Gupta-owned entity.

Similarly, Shanghai Zhenhua’s contract to build, deliver and commission seven tandem-lift ship-to-shore cranes for the container terminal at Durban harbour, resulted in R12.6 million worth of payments to a Gupta-owned United Arab Emirates-registered company called JJ Trading. JJ Trading was also involved in an earlier Transnet kickback scheme worth R1.4 billion.

Image credit: Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

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