Guptas’ bank records will help with investigation: Batohi

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The National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shamila Batohi says they require financial evidence from the United Arab Emirates of members of the Gupta family who are wanted in South Africa on charges of corruption, money laundering and fraud.

The NPA’s Investigating Directorate issued warrants of arrests for the Guptas last week and asked Interpol for assistance to get them deported to South Africa.

The Guptas are believed to have fled to the UAE in early 2018 as criminal investigations for alleged corruption accelerated.

Batohi says the suspects’ bank records will help them with their investigation into the corruption they committed in South Africa. She says there will be legal processes with regards to the extradition.

“Hopefully once that happens there would be legal processes with regard to the extradition of those persons. To put it very very simply that is essentially what it means. It means Interpol working to assisting and tracing these persons and the whereabouts have been established work with the local authority to effect the arrest.”

The Gupta name has become synonymous with accusations of state capture in SA. The family faces allegations of corruption at parastatals and provincial governments, to the tune of around R49 billion.

Ratification of treaties

Earlier on Friday, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said the UAE is not cooperating with South Africa, in accordance with the extradition treaty ratified by the two countries.

The agreement between South Africa and the UAE on extradition and legal assistance in criminal matters was signed in 2018.

Lamola says South Africa will continue to pursue this matter until justice is served.

“Irrespective of the fact that both South Africa and the UAE ratified this convention, regrettably we have to date not experienced a level of appreciation and cooperation which is required in terms of the convention in the fight against corruption from the UAE. However, we will continue to pursue our counterparts through diplomatic channels in order to reach the desired levels of cooperation to enable our law enforcement agencies to bring to justice persons of interest of any investigations they are pursuing.”

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