Two Indian-born brothers allegedly weaving a net of corruption across South Africa were arrested in Dubai and faced a breakthrough in Pretoria’s anti-transplant war.
Dubai police confirmed that they had arrested Atule and Rajesh Gupta after receiving a so-called red notice from Interpol on Tuesday and were coordinating their delivery with South African authorities.
The South African National Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the contact information but refused to provide details.
“Delivery is a complex process involving players in many roles, including executives,” said spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga.
The arrest brings a faint light of hope that the mastermind behind South Africa’s darkest corruption scandal will face prosecution after years of legal fog and delays.
The two big names have been accused of bribing the state contract, overshadowing former President Jacob Zuma’s administration, and finally exerting influence on the appointment of the minister in a scandal that resigned him.
According to one estimate, the South African economy has lost billions of dollars as a result of their activities.
After Zuma resigned in February 2018, his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa took over.
Ramaphosa vowed to fight Graft, the cornerstone of his presidency. However, prosecution is rare, public skepticism is deep-rooted, and Ramaphosa himself is currently fighting scandal accusations.
The Gupta dynasty arrived in South Africa in 1993 and eventually built a vast empire in mining, computer technology and media. Some members of their family were granted South African citizenship.
However, the pair and other families have begun investigating the “national looting” (suspected looting of state assets) and the siblings’ impact on the controlling African National Congress (ANC), which was launched in 2018 by the Judiciary Committee. Immediately after he fled the country. ..
After a painstaking investigation, Judge Raymond Zondo released a report this year explaining how the brothers were intertwined with the highest levels of government and ANC.
The family said they became close to Zuma until they affected the appointment of the cabinet and infiltrated a state-owned enterprise, where they secured some of the juicy contracts.
Zuma “will do whatever Guptus wanted for them,” Zondo said in his report released this year.
Zuma was imprisoned for 15 months last year for refusing to testify in front of an investigator. He was released on parole and served only two months in his term.
Independent investigators estimated that the cost of Gupta illicit activity in South Africa could be as high as R50 billion ($ 3.2 billion) over the years.
However, their current arrest was for fraud and money laundering related to a R25 million contract paid to Nulane Investment, a company linked to Gupta, for an agricultural feasibility study in Central Free State. Because.
Their arrest occurred almost a year after Interpol issued a red notice. This is a global warning that allows law enforcement agencies to arrest, imprison, and withhold delivery of persons accused.
The third brother, Ajay Gupta, is not quoted in the current case, but is named in another embezzlement and corruption case.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said the arrests “in fact plundered our country for years and are directly responsible for the difficulties faced by millions of South Africans today. He said he hoped to be the beginning of his arrest and prosecution.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa is caught up in a growing scandal centered around the theft of cash from his vast cows and game farms.
He has been accused of buying the silence of a thief allegedly detained in his property.
He violently denies allegations that surfaced as he argued to remain a leader of the ruling party when his term expired in December.
“People seeking corruption also have skeletons in the cupboard,” an independent political analyst who believed that Ramaphosa would probably retain his presidency despite the “farmgate” scandal. Said Sandir Swana.
burs-jv-sn / ri