United States management consultancy firm McKinsey is among three international companies being accused of criminal breaches of company law over their ties to the controversial Gupta family.

Companies around the world are facing more negative press as South African authorities start bringing criminal charges for their activities related to Gupta-owned businesses.

In the first significant response to corruption allegations against the politically-connected family, prosecutors moved to freeze R1.6 billion of assets held by McKinsey & Co.

The asset seizure is over fees Mckinsey earned from a contract advising Eskom, on which it worked alongside Trillian, a company owned by a Gupta associate.

Mckinsey has already said it intends to pay back the Eskom fees, but says it’s not yet received official notification of the asset-freezing order.

McKinsey said it welcomed all actions to resolve this issue and will continue to cooperate with the South African authorities and official investigations into these matters.

McKinsey apologised last year after their work with the Gupta-linked company was exposed in a series of leaked emails.