Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Gupta believed to be hiding in Botswana

One of the Gupta brothers accused of having corrupt links to ousted former South African president Jacob Zuma is believed to be hiding in Botswana.

South African police on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for Ajay Gupta, the eldest of the three Gupta brothers who are facing charges of state corruption.

“We spoke to his lawyers yesterday and we informed them that there is a warrant of arrest that had been issued against Ajay Gupta,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, a spokesman for the elite police unit the Hawks, told French news agency AFP.

Ajay’s pilot is understood to have told South African investigators that Ajay asked to be flown to Botswana but the pilot refused to fly him. By Friday, Ajay was believed to be still in South Africa or already in Botswana.

The Sunday Standard can confirm that the Guptas who ran Sahara Computers in South Africa also ran Sahara computers in Botswana. The paper can also confirm that the former Managing Director of Sahara Computers in Botswana Ashok Narayan is also part of the South African investigations into the Gupta’s state corruption.

A 2013 LinkedIn profile, which went offline in recent days, identified him as the then managing director of Sahara Systems, a business owned by the influential Gupta family. Before that, he held the same position at Sahara Computers in Botswana.

He is also linked to the controversial Vrede Dairy in the Free State which is at the centre of police investigations against the Guptas.

Linkway Trading, a Gupta company in which Narayan was a director, had been a “project consultant” for the dairy in its early stages.

The arrest warrant against Gupta follows police arrest last week of five people in connection with the investigations into the controversial Vrede dairy farm project.

investigators in the South African state capture corruption cases have revealed that money was allegedly laundered through Estina dairy farm for the benefit of the GuptasÔÇÜ their associates and companies. The alleged laundered money was used to buy the family’s Bombardier Global 6000 private jet with tail registration ZS-OAK and a fleet of cars.

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