Circle City Info

NPA applies to Interpol to assist with Gupta arrests

Gupta associate Iqbal Sharma and three others appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on charges of fraud totalling R24 million.

The Investigating Directorate (ID) says the money was paid by the Free State Department of Agriculture to Nulane Investment a company owned by Sharma and then diverted to Islandsite Investments a company owned by the Gupta.

These were monies earmarked for rural development in the province which included the Verde Dairy farm project.

The three other suspects are offiicials of the Free State Provincial government.

Meanwhile the NPA has applied to Interpol to assist with the execution of the arrest warrants for Atul Gupta, his wife, Chetali, Rajesh Gupta and his wife Arti, and four others who are also suspects in this case. 

“Investigating Directorate head, Adv Hermione Cronje, said the NPA is applying to Interpol to assist with the execution of arrest warrants in respect Atul Gupta and his wife, Chetali; Rajesh Gupta and his wife, Arti; Ankit Jain, former Nulane Investment Bank of Baroda account signatory; Ravindra Nath, director of Wone Management (Pty) Ltd; Ramesh Bhat and Jagdish Parekh, the directors of Pragat Investments (Pty) Ltd,

“The modus operandi used in this case appears to have been replicated in other government departments and projects. It is therefore critical that the evidence gathered in this matter is presented to court and a verdict obtained expeditiously.” It is for this reason that prosecutors have decided to proceed separately against the accused currently in the country and those abroad, as the process of arrest and extradition may unduly delay the trial.”” said the ID’s Sindisiwe Seboka 

Seboka added that the ID will be opposing bail for all the suspects who are in court.

She said those in court will be issued with a final indictment on June 15 and the matter will be transferred to the High Court for trial.  

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