The South African government has announced that the United Arab Emirates has arrested Rajesh Gupta and Atul Gupta, the two of three Indian-born wealthy Gupta family brothers who were at the center of political corruption under former President Jacob Zuma .
Both brothers were arrested in Dubai and it is still unclear why the third brother – Ajay – has not been arrested.
The arrests, nearly a year after Interpol issued a red notice last July, came as an investigation concluded into the massive looting of state institutions under former President Zuma. .
The Gupta brothers are accused in South Africa of using their relationship with former President Zuma to profit financially and influence senior appointments, charges they have vehemently denied.
In 2018, the Gupta family went into exile in Dubai after looting billions of rand from parastatal institutions in South Africa, authorities said.
“The Ministry of Justice and Corrections confirms that it has received information from law enforcement authorities in the United Arab Emirates that fugitives from justice, namely Rajesh and Atul Gupta, have been arrested,” it said. said the South African Department of Justice and Corrections in a statement. Monday.
“Discussions between various law enforcement agencies in the UAE and South Africa on the way forward are ongoing. The South African government will continue to cooperate with the UAE,” it said. -he adds.
Interpol had issued red notices to the Gupta brothers, who had also been declared persona non grata by the United States and the United Kingdom.
Red Notices are issued for fugitives wanted by prosecution to alert legal agencies around the world to arrest these individuals pending extradition.
The family fled South Africa in 2018 when the net closed in on them as huge public protests eventually led to the ANC removing Zuma and appointing Cyril Ramaphosa as interim president.
Earlier, South Africa also appealed to the UN to bring the Guptas back to South Africa when negotiations with the UAE failed to yield results as there was no peace treaty. extradition between the two countries.
The treaty was ratified in June 2021, when South Africa immediately began the process of requesting the Guptas’ extradition.
The Guptas told the State Capture Inquiry Commission in 2018 that they were not prepared to return to South Africa to testify after a number of witnesses implicated them and Zuma, in corruption cases.
The brothers called South African authorities “recklessly incompetent” in their affidavit to the commission.
A number of witnesses testified to the role of the Guptas in plundering huge amounts and also influenced the appointment of Cabinet ministers during Zuma’s nine-year tenure as South African President.
Although the arrests were widely welcomed, analysts warned that the public should not expect a quick resolution to the case against the Guptas, as it could even take a few years while they exhaust all avenues to their disposition to fight against their extradition. Wayne Duvenhage, CEO of the organization Undoing Tax Abuse, said their investigations revealed that nearly R15 billion had been looted by the Guptas before they fled the country. The Gupta family, originally from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, entered South Africa by establishing a shoe store in the early 1990s. They quickly expanded to include IT, media and mining companies, most of which have now been sold or closed.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)