INTERNATIONAL - Officials have said they suspect the Gupta brothers of bringing in 'illicit money' into India, following the raid on a property owned by the family earlier today.
Amrendra Kumar, a senior income tax official in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, told Reuters that the Gupta brothers were suspected of finding ways to bring “illicit money” they had earned abroad into India.
“We want to look into blocking that way,” Kumar said by telephone, adding that he was involved in ongoing raids.
“They make all kind of illegal money there outside, these are the allegations which we want to look into,” he said.
The three Gupta brothers, Atul, Ajay and Rajesh, went to South Africa in the early 1990s and built a commercial empire stretching from computers to mining and media.
Last month, South African police raided Gupta properties there as part of an investigation into their dealings.
South Africa’s chief prosecutor declared Ajay Gupta a “fugitive from justice” after he failed to report to police investigators.
On Tuesday, Indian officials conducted raids at residences of the Guptas in the town of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and the nearby town of Dehradun, as well as one of their offices in the capital, New Delhi, Kumar said.
A top judge in South Africa will investigate whether the Guptas sought to influence the appointment of cabinet ministers there and were unlawfully awarded state tenders.
South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has made fighting corruption a top priority.
Meanwhile, the former Finance Minister of South Africa and new Minister of Home Affiairs, Malusi Gigaba said in a press briefing that Ajay Gupta is not a South African citizen.
Gigaba said, "Ajay Gupta is not a SA citizen. He is a permanent resident because he did not renounce Indian citizenship. Atul Gupta is also not a citizen, because he never applied for SA citizenship."
Gigaba further said that he had nothing to do with the naturalisation of members of the Gupta family.
Gigaba was addressing the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs.
REUTERS/ BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE