Ricochet News

Atul Gupta challenging the freezing of his R10 million from Dubai

Feb 19, 2018
Atul Gupta challenging the freezing of his R10 million from Dubai

With his brother on the run, Atul Gupta has apparently filed an application to have a preservation order by the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) to the value of R10 million be set aside.

In the papers says that; "I wish to state at the outset that I am currently outside South Africa."

Atul's papers carry a stamp from the South African Consulate in Dubai.

He has denied that he benefited from the Estina Dairy Farm Project.

"I deny that I have received R10 million from the Estina Dairy Farm Project as alleged."

He said that he only became aware of the preservation order from other affected parties on 2 February 2018.

"I have not been served with such an order and have only managed to glean the facts in relation to the order roughly from my attorneys," Atul further said.

In January, the AFU froze the R10 million in connection with the alleged theft of millions of rand from the Estina Dairy Farm Project. 

The farm, which is situated at the remote agricultural town of Vrede, was established to benefit black farmers, but apparently became a cash cow for the Gupta family through alleged corrupt dealings with senior politicians in the Free State.

It is alleged that the Free State Department of Agriculture handed the farm to the Gupta family in 2013 on a 99-year lease, a questionable transaction that saw millions of rands being received by the Guptas and their allies.

In the same year, the department, under then MEC Mosebenzi Zwane and current mineral resources minister, controversially paid around R220 million to the Guptas, R30 million of which allegedly ended up funding the family’s lavish wedding in Sun City in the North West in 2013.

Around R220 million in assets linked to the Guptas have now been seized by the National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), which took control of the multi-million Estina dairy farm in January.

Last week, eight people appeared in court after being arrested by the HAWKS over corruption and fraud at the Estina Dairy Farm Project.