The National Prosecuting Authority repeatedly failed to pursue contraventions of exchange control regulations referred to it by the Reserve Bank, its deputy governor Kuben Naidoo said yesterday.
The failure was a cause of much frustration, Naidoo told parliament’s standing committee on finance.
Committee chairman Yunus Carrim said it was the consensus of all political parties represented on his committee that not enough was being done to reduce the “obscene” amounts of money leaving the country illegally.
“We are reaching the end of our tether in this matter. We want drastic action. We want to see some of the names in the public domain appearing in court. We are really fed up, to put it mildly,” Carrim said.
Naidoo said the bank had handed 41 cases of exchange-control contraventions to the police over the past five to six years.
Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago agreed, saying the bank had laid charges but prosecutors declined to prosecute.
Naidoo said the bank was often unable to curb illicit financial flows because payments tended to be made offshore.
“The system is not perfect and is not functioning as it should,” Naidoo said. “We are chasing the tail and the tail often wins.”
He said the bank issued three or four forfeiture orders a month, amounting to about R3-billion a year, in respect of exchange-control contraventions.