CAPE TOWN: The South African government has said that the law enforcement authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have arrested Rajesh Gupta and Atul Gupta of the Gupta family, allegedly linked to former President Jacob Zuma in connection with financial wrongdoing.
Their arrests come months after International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) issued a red notice last July.
“The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services confirms that it has received information from law enforcement authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that fugitives of justice, namely, Rajesh and Atul Gupta have been arrested,” the South African Justice Ministry said in a statement.
“Discussions between various law enforcement agencies in the UAE and South Africa on the way forward are ongoing. The South African government will continue to co-operate with the UAE,” the statement added.
Back in 2018, the South African government started to investigate the corruption charges levelled against former president Zuma. The former South African president is accused of overseeing widespread graft during his nine-year reign. The Guptas are accused of using their influence to profit financially and influence senior appointments. However, they have denied wrongdoing.
Last year, Interpol said they were being sought in connection with a 25 million rand contract paid to a Gupta-linked company to conduct an agricultural feasibility study, Al Jazeera reported.
The Gupta brothers — Ajay, Atul and Rajesh — had migrated from Uttar Pradesh to South Africa in the 1990s and owned a business empire spanning from computer equipment, media and mining in South Africa.
The scandal had forced Zuma to quit in 2018 after he faced massive furore within his own ruling African National Congress (ANC) lawmakers over corruption charges. The former South African president also faced allegations of corruption relating to a 1990s arms deal.
Following Zuma’s resignation, the Gupta brothers had fled South Africa. (ANI)