Tuesday June 07, 2022

UAE collars India-born business brothers Rajesh and Atul Gupta, fugitives from South Africa mired in corruption scandal

UAE collars India-born business brothers Rajesh and Atul Gupta, fugitives from South Africa mired in corruption scandal

Rajesh and Atul Gupta

Two Indian-born business brothers who were allegedly at the centre of a massive web of state corruption in South Africa have been arrested in Dubai, Pretoria announced on Monday.

The Ministry of Justice "confirms that it has received information from law enforcement authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that fugitives of justice, namely, Rajesh and Atul Gupta have been arrested," it said in a statement.

The family members are allegedly at the centre of a corruption scandal that dogged former president Jacob Zuma's administration.


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The Gupta brothers, friends of former President Jacob Zuma, are accused in South Africa of using their relationship with Zuma to profit financially and influence senior appointments. They deny wrongdoing.

"Discussions between various law enforcement agencies in the UAE and South Africa on the way forward are ongoing," the government's Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services said in a brief statement, adding that it will continue to cooperate with the authorities in the UAE.

UAE collars India-born business brothers Rajesh and Atul Gupta, fugitives from South Africa mired in corruption scandal
Jacob Zuma

They were accused of paying bribes in exchange for massive state contracts and influence over ministerial appointments.

Their arrests come almost a year after Interpol issued a red notice in July last year.

Red notices are a global alert enabling law enforcement to arrest a person sought for prosecution or to serve a custodial sentence and detain them pending extradition.

They fled South Africa shortly after a judicial commission probing corruption started in 2018.

After four years of investigations, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo compiled a report, revealing how the wealthy brothers became enmeshed with the highest levels of government and the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

In July last year Interpol said they were being sought in connection with a 25 million rand ($1.6 million, 1.5 million euros) contract paid to a Gupta-linked company, Nulane Investment, to conduct an agricultural feasibility study.

Agencies

 

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