A Canadian bank says it wants the controversial Gupta family’s private jet grounded, so that it is not used for criminal purposes.
Export Development Canada (EDC) which granted the Guptas a 41 million dollar loan has argued in the South Gauteng High Court that the plane could be used by one of the Gupta brothers Ajay to flee from justice.
Ajay is wanted in South Africa on corruption allegations.
The court heard that the Guptas defaulted on several sections of their agreement and that the Bombadier aircraft’s tracking device was deactivated in February this year, months after the bank issued several termination notices.
EDC lawyers say the bank suffered reputational damage over the families unfolding legal woes. They cited the state capture cases involving the Gupta’s, including a raid on their Saxonworld home, related to the alleged Estina Dairy farm corruption scandal.
The bank fears the Assets Forfeiture Unit could seize the aircraft. EDC argues that Oakbay, a Gupta company which was used to enter into the lease agreement, also breached the agreement when it disposed of some of its assets. And that the closure of the Gupta’s bank accounts by four of the country’s major banks was another cause for terminating the lease.
Gupta lawyers have rubbished the claims and want the matter struck off the roll. They say this is a face-saving exercise by the bank to salvage its own reputation.
The judgement is reserved…