US announces sanctions against Gupta family

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The United States Treasury Department has announced sanctions against the Gupta family, referring to their operations as a significant corruption network in South Africa that leveraged over payments on government contracts, bribery and other corrupt actions.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta and Salim Essa for their involvement in corruption in terms of the domestic Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

The Treasury Statement says the Gupta family leveraged its political connections to engage in widespread corruption and bribery, capture government contracts and misappropriate state assets.

The designation targets the Gupta’s pay-to-play political patronage which Treasury says was orchestrated at the expense of the South African people.

The statement quotes the Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker who says the Guptas and their associate Salim Essa used their influence with prominent politicians and parties to line their pockets with ill-gotten gains and that the United States will continue to exclude from the country’s financial system those who profit from corruption.

The statement says the sanctions announcement demonstrates the US Government’s unwavering commitment to supporting the rule of law and accountability in South Africa.