South African police to hire auditor to help Steinhoff probe

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The Chairman of Parliament’s oversight committee on finance chastised the Hawks for taking so long to investigate the matter.

Monday 24, June 2019

(Bloomberg) --South African anti-corruption police are stepping up their investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing that caused the near collapse of Steinhoff International Holdings with the appointment of external forensic auditors and analysts.

The Hawks assigned more people to a probe of the retailer after starting a fast-track process last month and the National Treasury is expected to approve the appointment of an auditor.

While Steinhoff first reported problems with its accounts in December 2017, the Hawks were only able to make serious headway with their investigations after being given full access to a PwC forensic report into the company in late March. Steinhoff has referred former Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste to the unit, but he hasn’t been charged with any offence.

PwC report uncovered EUR 6.5 billion ($7.3 billion) of irregular transactions between Steinhoff and eight firms between 2009 and 2017.

The deals, orchestrated over several years, enabled the owner of chains from the US to Australia to artificially boost profits and asset values.

TAGS : Steinhoff International Holdings, Hawks, PwC

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