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Press Release

TJSA welcomes criminal charges against Sasfin ex-employees linked to Gold Mafia

Tuesday 7 November 2023 – TAX Justice SA (TJSA) welcomes an announcement by Sasfin bank that it has laid criminal charges against 11 former employees for their alleged involvement in the laundering of billions of rand of dirty money from South Africa’s illicit cigarette trade.

TJSA founder Yusuf Abramjee is now urging the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure these suspects face justice as soon as possible and charges are also brought against the criminal kingpins who allegedly corrupted them.

The Al Jazeera documentary Gold Mafia, broadcast in March this year, revealed how Sasfin was allegedly linked to a huge money-laundering scheme for Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation (GLTC), which has headquarters in Johannesburg and is headed by Zimbabwean Simon Rudland.

Using evidence gleaned from thousands of previously unseen documents and the testimony of key underworld figures, the Al Jazeera investigators concluded: “Gold Leaf’s Sasfin account is Simon Rudland’s laundromat for the profits from the illicit cigarette sales.”

Abramjee said today: “Gold Mafia revealed how organised crime has infiltrated key sectors of our economy and is looting our country on an industrial scale.

“Brazen criminals are funnelling billions of rand to offshore havens, draining our economy and depriving the fiscus of vital revenue that is meant to build a better life for all.

“The NPA now has a duty to ensure the ex-employees named by Sasfin face timely justice. It is also imperative that it hunts down and prosecutes the criminal kingpins who use corruption and intimidation to grow filthy rich at the expense of honest, hard-working citizens.”

Key evidence was given to the Gold Mafia investigation by Dawood Khan, brother and former accomplice of Mohamed Khan, who is known as ‘Mo Dollars’ and was identified by Al Jazeera as Rudland’s chief money launderer.

Dawood, who is now in witness protection, said from a safe house: “Gold Leaf Tobacco was opened specifically for the intention of money laundering and nothing else.”

Dawood, who worked as a forger for his brother, added: “We were actually the executive management team of the Sasfin forex processing department … Mohamed was CEO of that company – without them knowing.

“Gold Leaf Tobacco had the capability within Sasfin to move massive amounts of money, not questioned because we had respective eyes in the bank overlooking the entire process. 99% of all GLTC payments were money-laundering, fraudulent transactions.”