Two members of the Gupta family have been arrested in the United Arab Emirates. This is the biggest step so far in the fight to catch the gangsters accused of robbing South African companies. Rajesh and Atul Gupta were detained by UAE law enforcement officials and further action is being discussed, the South African Ministry of Justice said in a statement.
The arrests come a year after the UAE signed an extradition treaty with South Africa. The administration of President Cyril Ramaphosa had earlier asked Emirati officials to extradite members of the Gupta family in 2018. The United States, meanwhile, imposed sanctions on them next year, ranging from visa bans to property freezes. Interpol added the two brothers to its most-wanted list in February.
The Commission of Inquiry in South Africa had said in a recent report that the Gupta brothers used former President Jacob Zuma not only against the people of the country but also for appointing their confidants in major institutions. According to the report, Zuma was at the center of the Gupta brothers’ plan to seize power, having long since been identified as a man whose character could be used against the people of South Africa.
Former President Zuma and Gupta brothers had collusion
According to the report, the Gupta brothers understood that Zuma could be used to further business interests. The commission’s chairman, Chief Justice Raymond Jondo, handed over a quarter of the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa. It states, “Former President Jacob Zuma opened the doors of state-owned enterprises to the Gupta brothers and helped them gain access to the wealth and money of the people of South Africa.”
Relationship of Gupta family from Saharanpur, India
The report claimed that Zuma did all the work that the Gupta brothers told him. This included removing qualified ministers and senior officials from quasi-government institutions, so that their trusted people could be appointed there. Ajay, Atul and Tony Gupta first arrived in South Africa from Saharanpur, India in the 1990s. He started with a shoe store and allegedly used Zuma’s influence to establish his empire in the information technology, mining and media businesses.