GOVERNMENT APPEALS FOR EXTRADITION OF FUGITIVE GUPTA BROTHERS

SOUTH AFRICA: CRIME/SABC/16/5/18 SABANews 1

Ajay Gupta captured on video (Pic. Mail & Guardian)

JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH AFRICA wants the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES to hand over TWO rich INDIAN-born men who are wanted on a variety of crimes.

SOUTH AFRICAN Justice Minister MICHAEL MASUTHA says he has started talks with the UAE to establish a treaty to allow extradition of the GUPTA brothers.

The GUPTAS are a wealthy INDIAN-born SOUTH AFRICAN family, with most notable members being the brothers AJAY, ATUL, RAJESH, and nephews VARUN as well as UNITED STATES-based ASHISH and AMOL.

Their business empire covers computer equipment, media, and mining, but they have been the focus of widespread scrutiny due to their close ties to former President JACOB ZUMA when he was in power.

Justice Minister MASUTHA says he has met with the UAE Ambassador to SOUTH AFRICA to discuss the need to establish a mutual legal assistance and extradition deal between the TWO countries.

The GUPTAS are wanted for alleged involvement in State Capture, a systemic political corruption where private interests influence government decisions to their own advantage.

Records show the World Bank FIRST used the term to describe the situation in Central ASIAN countries making the transition from SOVIET communism.

Minister MASUTHA says recent reports indicate the suspects are hiding in DUBAI, UAE, and the Ambassador has expressed desire to facilitate the speeding up of the extradition.

He says a number of SOUTH AFRICANS are in the UAE for different purposes; which is why stronger relations are vital, to ensure legal systems work in a mutually supportive manner.

The crime the GUPTA brothers are facing, State Capture, seeks to influence the formation of laws to promote influential private interests: unlike most other corruption forms that instead seek selective enforcement of existing laws.

Media reports say SOUTH AFRICA and the UAE do not have an agreement, but it does not mean SOUTH AFRICA cannot apply to the UAE to have suspects extradited./Sabanews/cam

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