AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
The multi-million rand mansion in Saxonworld, Johannesburg and a house in Constantia, Cape Town, owned by the Gupta family are among the assets worth R520-million seized by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) today following a court order.
The NPA’s Investigations Directorate was today granted an interim order by the Bloemfontein High Court to seize and preserve the assets of the family, including those owned by their business associates. Properties seized include the Morningside, Johannesburg house owned by Iqbal Sharma and his wife Tarina Patel, the Gupta business associate who is in jail, pending a bail application.
The court has appointed a curator to manage and preserve the assets, pending the outcome of the criminal case against Sharma, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta and their wives Chetali and Arti as well as several others. If convicted, the NPA is expected to apply for the interim seizure order to be made permanent.
Yesterday, the NPA and the Investigations Directorate issued a red alert and asked Interpol to help bring them to face justice in South Africa.
Atul and Rajesh Gupta and their wives Chetali and Arti, are wanted and once arrested, are expected to be charged along with Sharma and senior Free State provincial government officials, with fraud, corruption and money laundering.
The NPA has asked Interpol to assist with the executive of international warrants to arrest and bring them to SA to face charges relating to R25-million spend on a feasibility study on the R288-million Astina Dairy Farm project, which was aimed to benefit residents of Vrede but collapsed.
Yesterday, Sharma, Peter Thabethe, the former head of the Free State Agriculture Department , Limakatso Moorosi, also a former head and Seipati Dlamini, a former chief finance officer, appeared in court where they were charged with fraud and money laundering in connection with the R25-million paid to Nulane, a company owned by Sharma.
According to the indictment, Nulane was paid R25-million, it paid Deloitte R1.5-million to do the feasibility study and laundered the rest, through a series of companies, to a company in Dubai, owned by the Gupta brothers.
Sharma and Thabethe are expected to spend the weekend in jail and apply for bail on Monday. Moorosi and Dlamini were granted bail of R10 000 each.