South African Court Freezes Indian-Origin Gupta Family’s Assets In Corruption Case
Johannesburg: Controversial Indian-origin Gupta family and their associate, Iqbal Meer Sharma’s assets, including their palatial homes in upmarket areas, were frozen by a South African court.
The Investigating Directorate (ID) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of South Africa urged Interpol to issue Red Notice International Arrest Warrants for Atul Gupta and Rajesh Gupta along with their wives Chetali and Arti.
Their close associate Meer Sharma is in jail, along with a senior official of the Provincial Free State Government, pending a bail application on Monday, reported news agency PTI.
ID spokesperson, Sindisiwe Seboka, earlier said they have a strong case against the Guptas and Sharma for their involvement in fraud and corruption of more than 12 million South African rands.
Accused of siphoning billions of rand from state and parastatal institutions, Guptas are reportedly in self-exile in Dubai, with some family members are in India.
Extradition papers have been sent by South Africa to both India and the UAE, although it has no extradition treaty with the UAE.
The wanted Gupta family of four members own the company, Islandsite, against which the High Court order was granted on Friday.
“Leave is granted to institute asset forfeiture proceedings against Islandsite and the property of Islandsite,” read the order.
“The freezing order, granted in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act, will be served on Iqbal Sharma at the Bloemfontein Bainsvlei (police) holding cells, while Islandsite will be served at its local business address,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by the agency.
Guptas’ properties that are part of the order, include a 21 million rand mansion in the elite suburb of Constantia in Cape Town and a 12 million rand estate in Johannesburg.