A security guard at the location where Ajay Gupta is believed to be staying in Dubai told Reuters on Monday that the businessman would be returning to the residence later in the evening.
Ajay Gupta, one of the three Gupta brothers under investigation over accusations of corrupt links to ousted South African President Jacob Zuma, left the country for Dubai 10 days ago, a Johannesburg airport spokeswoman said on Friday.
He was declared “a fugitive from justice” by South Africa’s chief prosecutor this week after he failed to report to police investigating allegations that millions of dollars of public money intended for a state-backed dairy project were siphoned off.
South Africa has no extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Dubai is located and this could complicate South African authorities’ efforts to question Ajay Gupta – if he remained in the Gulf state.
Atul Gupta applied to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to force investigators probing a suspect farming scheme to release R10 million ($856.000) in frozen assets.
“Atul Gupta is challenging the court. He is requesting the court to reconsider the preservation order,” NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told AFP, confirming receipt of Atul’s application.
Thirteen people are facing charges linked to allegations that millions of dollars of public money meant for poor dairy farmers was siphoned off by the Guptas.
Local media reports suggested that Zuma’s son Duduzane, a business associate of the Guptas, is also among those being sought, and some speculated that he could be in Dubai.
Ajay Gupta, Atul’s brother, is subject to an arrest warrant in connection to alleged state corruption in another case, according to police.
Detectives last week raided the family’s palatial home in Johannesburg and made several arrests for alleged offences including fraud, money laundering and misappropriation of public funds.
At the weekend, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said that five people sought in connection with the sprawling investigation were currently abroad.
In his first address to the nation hours after he assumed power on Friday, new South African President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to fight corruption in a direct reference to the accusations levelled at his predecessor Zuma. additional reporting by AFP
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