- The NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has seized assets worth R180 million from the Guptas
- The unit seized 65 cars, 46 properties, two aircraft, a helicopter, cash in bank accounts and earth moving equipment
- AFU, Hawks, SARS and SAPS officials swooped on the Gupta compound on Monday and are expected to continue their work at various other locations on Tuesday
The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has given the Gupta empire a R180 million body blow. On Monday, the AFU seized R180 million in assets from the Gupta family, the unit seized 65 cars, 46 properties, two aircraft, a helicopter, cash in bank accounts and earth moving equipment
AFU, Hawks, SARS and SAPS officials swooped on the Gupta’s Saxonwold, Johannesburg compound. Officials were armed with a restraint order for the assets which was granted by the Bloemfontein High Court.
Officials are expected to continue seizure related activities at various locations across South Africa on Tuesday. This includes a trip to Lanseria airport.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the Saxonwold home, as well as, the property in La Lucia, Durban valued at R26 million, were seized. A Rolls-Royce worth R3 million and a Lamborghini worth R1.2 million were among the big-ticket items seized by authorities.
The operation is the latest move by state capture investigators who are attempting to recover R250 million from the Guptas and some of their associates.
The AFU was granted permission to seize the same assets in February, but Atul Gupta successfully had the decision overturned.
The restraint order is preparation for a confiscation order, law enforcement officials started the process to identify the assets which were identified in court papers on Monday. Once a confiscation order is granted the process of seizing the assets will start.
The assets all belong to or are connected to the 13 people accused of money laundering and fraud in connection with the Estina project. This includes Free State agriculture head Peter Thabethe‚ his employees Seipati Dlamini and Takisi Masiteng‚ as well as Gupta associates and family members Kamal Vasram‚ Ashu Chawla‚ Nazeem Howa‚ Varun Gupta and Ronica Ragavan.
The suspects appeared in the Bloemfontein Regional Court in February and are due to appear in court again in August.
An NPA financial investigator said in an affidavit that the directors of Gupta-owned companies were using the businesses to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Atul and Ajay Gupta are currently on the run from South African law enforcement agencies and face legal troubles for tax fraud in India. The brothers are thought to be in Dubai.
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