South Africa has asked Interporl to arrest Gupta family members and bring them back into the country to stand trial for fraud and money laundering, said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Thursday.
The NPA said they want Interpol to execute a warrant of arrest for Atul Gupta and his wife Chetali, Rajesh Gupta and his wife Arti and Ankit Jain, former Nulane Investment Bank of Baroda account signatory. They also want Interpol to arrest Ravindra Nath, director of Wone Management (Pty) Ltd, Ramesh Bhat and Jagdish Parekh, directors of Pragat Investments (Pty).
The NPA’s Investigating Directorate head Hermione Cronje said other accused persons, including former Transnet board member and business partner to Gupta associate Salim Essa, Iqbal Sharma and three former senior Free State government officials, had appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.
“The modus operandi used in this case appears to have been replicated in other government departments and projects. It is therefore critical that the evidence gathered in this matter is presented to court and a verdict obtained expeditiously,” Cronje said. “It is for this reason that prosecutors have decided to proceed separately against the accused currently in the country and those abroad, as the process of arrest and extradition may unduly delay the trial.”
The Gupta family is a wealthy Indian-born family who owns a business empire spanning computer equipment, media, and mining in South Africa. The controversial family has been implicated on numerous occasions at the Zondo Commission which investigates allegations of state capture. Enditem