- The Guptas enjoyed preferential treatment with many things in South Africa, including their visas
- The man who gave them such special treatment is Gideon Christians, who worked as South African Consulate in India
- Christians is accused of also helping those close to the Guptas obtain their visas
Unofficially, Gideon Christians has been working for the Gupta family for years. Officially, Christians has been working for the South African Consulate in New Delhi, India for the past 10 years.
It was there that he spent his time sorting visas for the Gupta family and their colleagues.
Senior Gupta employee Ashu Chawla worked closely with Christians. OUTA actually filed charges against the two men when it came to light that Christians gave the Gupta family and Chawla preferential treatment for their visa applications.
In return, Christians was richly rewarded.
Who is Gideon Christians?
In 2008, Christians was appointed as Second Secretary for immigration and civic services at the South African High Commission in New Delhi
The South African reports that it is believed that Christians helped to facilitate the immigration of the Guptas to South Africa.
Furthermore, Christians ignored procedures and contacted Chawla to make sure that matters work out in his favour.
Christians apparently asked the Guptas for 2.5% commission on their Chinese coal deals.
The official is also accused of making use of the fast-track visa service to assist Indian staff who came over to work at the Gupta's ANN7 studios.
Then Christians also arranged a visa for Tanvi Gupta so she could marry Varun Gupta in South Africa, as well as for the married couple Vega and Akash Garg.
It seems that the preferential treatment went both ways for Christians. In 2014, he handled the visas for four people - who appear to be his relatives - to visit Dubai.
Stefanie Fick, head of OUTA’s Legal Affairs says there is a mountain of evidence against Christians and holds him responsible for getting the Guptas in South Africa.
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