South African court freezes assets of Gupta family and associate
- South Africa
On Thursday, the Investigating Directorate (ID) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of South Africa asked Interpol to issue Red Notice International Arrest Warrants for Atul Gupta and Rajesh Gupta, and their wives Chetali and Arti.
South Africa has sent extradition papers to both India and the UAE, although it has no extradition treaty with the UAE.
''Leave is granted to institute asset forfeiture proceedings against Islandsite and the property of Islandsite,'' read the order, which Seboka confirmed applied to assets, including all properties in South Africa belonging to Islandsite.
The court has appointed a curator who will take charge of the assets pending the outcome of criminal charges for fraud and money laundering offences instituted against the Guptas, their company Islandsite, Sharma and his company Nulane.
''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,'' Seboka said.
Should they be found guilty, the assets concerned will be forfeited to the state.
Sharma's assets, include his residence in the upmarket suburb of Sandton in Johannesburg valued at more than 12 million rand that the ID said is owned through a UAE-registered company, Issar Global, as well as other assets worth around 1.8 million rand.
The Guptas grew their business from a humble retail shoe store to a vast empire spanning information technology, mining and media.
There have been widespread allegations, including by witnesses at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, that the Gupta brothers used their closeness to former president Jacob Zuma to carry out a wide range of irregular deals totalling billions of rand.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)