EAAB to probe Pam Golding Properties

After reports from a leading news outlet the Estate Agency Affairs Board  (EAAB) has said that they will launch a full-scale investigation into the allegations that Pam Golding Properties contravened financial regulatory laws when facilitating the sale of property to politically exposed people.

They have said that Pam Golding Properties will be the subject of a multi-pronged investigation following reports that it allegedly facilitated the sale of properties to the children of former Mozambican President Armando Guebuza without following legal requirements and thus allegedly aided money laundering.  The two properties in Dainfern and Kyalami Estate, north of Johannesburg, are said to be worth a combined R50-million.

It is alleged that former political leaders and their families were laundering money by investing large sums of illegal monies in properties in South Africa, resulting in the artificial inflation of property prices and skewed market values.

EAAB CEO Mamodupi Mohlala said the allegations are of a serious nature and that senior officials from the regulator would be leading the probe.

“Enforcement and compliance are at the core of our mandate as a regulator. We, therefore, have to ensure that there is full compliance no matter how big or small a licensee. We demand full compliance in the interests of consumer and public protection,” Mohlala said. 

The EAAB has requested that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) aid them in this investigation.

The EAAB, as the supervisory board of the property industry, will meet with the FIC in the coming days to finalize the scope of the investigation which will look into whether Pam Golding Properties transgressed sections of the FIC Act. These include:

  • Section 21B which requires determining the identity of a client;
  • Section 27A  -  Money Laundering and Terrorist Financial Control Regulations;
  • Section 28 – cash threshold;
  • Section 29 – suspicious and unusual transaction;
  • Section 31 – Cross-Border Electronic Transfer and
  • Section 42A which requires a company and its employees to ensure compliance with a Risk Management and Compliance Programme (RMCP).

On-site inspections at Pam Golding Properties’ premises will be carried out and requesting access to documents. Any adverse findings will result in the agency being hauled before an EAAB  disciplinary hearing. The final findings would determine a possible sanction which could include a substantial fine.

“We will expedite the investigation and request co-operation from all parties involved. The allegations against Pam Golding’s conduct are most concerning.  We are aware that the property sector, more especially the real estate sector, is a source of wealth creation. We, however, say create wealth legally and according to rules and policies.  We, therefore, intend on using legislative tools to ensure compliance by all players including Pam Golding which is one of the biggest players in our space. No one is above the law."

Pam Golding has not released a statement at the time of publishing. 

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