The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) want the United Arab Emirates Government to preserve R169 million that the Gupta family allegedly stole and transferred out of South Africa, according a report in the City Press.
The newspaper reported that this follows “an order granted this week by the high court in Bloemfontein in favour of the Asset Forfeiture Unit, increasing the preservation order first granted in January to R250 million”.
This money was allegedly looted from the failed Estina dairy project in Vrede, Free State.
This is the first official step local law enforcement authorities have taken to pursue the Guptas, close friends of former president Jacob Zuma, to Dubai, where they own a mansion that allegedly cost them R331 million.
In February, the Hawks arrested eight people in connection with the scandal. Among those charged with fraud, theft and money laundering were Gupta lieutenants Varun Gupta‚ Ashu Chawla‚ Kamal Vasram‚ Ronica Ragavan and Nazeem Howa, and former agriculture officials Peter Thabethe and Seipati Dlamini. They will appear in court again in August.
The SABC reported that sources close to the Gupta investigation say Interpol has been roped in to track down Atul and Tony Gupta.
Ajay Gupta has been declared a fugitive from justice. This after he failed to hand himself over despite his lawyers confirming to the Hawks that he will do so.
He has since disappeared.
The Hawks are still unable to serve warrants of arrest to Tony and Atul Gupta. The two Gupta brothers were out of the country when the warrants were issued.
Reports are that they are in Dubai or India.