Eight months after the government announced that the Gupta brothers Atul and Rajesh had been arrested in Dubai and that South Africa had made an extradition request to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there was still seemingly no word or news of any progress. in the matter.
The Department of Justice and Correctional Services said on Thursday it was “waiting” on the UAE for updated information on the status of the extradition application.
South Africa’s application for the extradition of the brothers was already submitted in English and Arabic to the UAE’s central authority in July last year.
“Minister Ronald Lamola is concerned that there has not yet been any new information about the first court appearance of the fugitives to determine whether there will be a hearing on the application for extradition,” says Chrispin Phiri, Lamola’s spokesperson. This after a visit to the UAE to ensure the application meets the requirements of that country’s authorities.
According to him, the department has made several inquiries about this to the UAE in the past few months.
“The latest request is for an urgent meeting between the two departments, as well as the minister and his counterpart in the UAE.
“The department is dealing with the issue through diplomatic channels under the extradition agreement between the two countries,” says Phiri.
Gupta brothers Atul & Rajesh Gupta arrested in Dubai, after Interpol issued a red tape notice for the crimes committed in South Africa for widespread graft, fraud and money laundering. #Guptas pic.twitter.com/wVUKf1wVW6
— CrimeInSA (@sa_crime) June 6, 2022
Daily Maverick used to report although there are photos available of another high-profile international character who was also arrested in the UAE, no similar photos regarding the arrest of the Guptas – who were already arrested on the basis of an Interpol notice on 2 June last year – are yet available not stated.
It is also unclear whether the Gupta brothers attended any of the hearings – for extradition and not for bail – themselves, whether any South African official has personally watched them since their arrest, and whether facial photographs of Atul and Rajesh was provided to the South African government as confirmation that the two had indeed been apprehended, the website reported.
Meanwhile, the case against two alleged Gupta accomplices in the controversial and failed Estina dairy project began last week. Kamal Vasram and Saliesh Indurjeeth, former directors of the project, have innocent pleaded in the R37.7 billion fraud case against them.
The two are among several people who have been arrested in connection with the Free State project which was supposed to empower black farmers. It later emerged that the project was used as a way to channel money from the government to specific beneficiaries, with high-profile politicians and the Gupta family suspected of involvement.
The #DubaiPolice arrest brothers wanted by South African authorities for criminal and money laundering charges. pic.twitter.com/vIByqyvGqQ
– Dubai Police Dubai Police (@DubaiPoliceHQ) June 7, 2022
The Guptas left South Africa in 2016 after their alleged involvement in large-scale state capture became more and more important.
Additional source: Daily Maverick
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