Apartheid era officials stole a 25 metre sophisticated printing press, bombed the building to conceal their theft, reassembled the printing press at police Head Quarters and then began printing counterfeit money a court case reveals (note 1 and 2). Jeremy Vearey and Andre Lincoln were officers in ANC’s intelligence organisation who busted the group. Much of this is now playing out in a court in Western Cape. US intelligence became involved as these officials had been counterfeiting US dollars. It is uncertain how much counterfeit money they printed. Among the conspirators’ other activities they were plotting to kill Mandela.
There are two important issues here:
Firstly, the apartheid Police Head Quarters were the centre of of a US dollar counterfeiting operation. To locate the the operation at police Head Quarters denotes total confidence in political cover and that other security organisations were compromised and cooperating. Secondly, who else was involved and where did the money go? One must suspect this goes all the way through the apartheid power structure. When you are printing US dollars you cut out all the tedious steps of money laundering, unhygienic activity and unsavory people.This would be extremely attractive to powerful people.
I suspect it will prove extremely difficult to ‘follow the money’ to quote a Watergate maxim, as this is not ordinary corruption but massive financial corruption going to the heart of the apartheid regime. SA Police HQ as the heart and base of organised crime – it beggars the imagination.
In my early days working in the City of London I would receive calls from South African associate offices requesting assistance with transfers of money. These transfers were clearly illegal under SA law. In those days because the transaction was happening outside UK jurisdiction we in the UK were not breaking any UK law. However the South African professionals who clearly were had absolutely no blushes. These transactions took place wholesale. If there was ever any embarrassment it occurred when they realised they were talking to a Black African. But before there is a general stereotypical response I have to mention that East African Asian who were also involved in similar activities on a wholesale scale out of East Africa would also be embarrassed to find themselves talking to a Black African in London.
None of the above takes away from the breathtaking scale of police corruption revealed in this currency counterfeiting case.
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EXCLUSIVE_ The ‘truth’ behind an apartheid-era printing press and counterfeit money _ News24