File. Gupta brothers, Ajay and Atul.

Durban - The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) have confirmed that they are searching for Ajay Gupta after his lawyers failed to hand him over this week. 

“It is understood that he has personal protectors and they are being warned to either hand him over or they might face charges of directly aiding and abetting the fugitive. Therefore, the Hawks are making a public plea to Ajay Gupta to hand himself over to avoid embarrassment," Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, Hawks national spokesperson, said.

Meanwhile, the eight people arrested during the Hawks raid at the Gupta compound in Saxonwold and a second property in Johannesburg, have been granted bail with conditions. Peter Thabethe (53), – the Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Free State, Sylvia Dlamini (46), Chief of staff in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Dr Takisi Masiteng (47), General Manager for District Services in the Department of Agriculture, Varun Gupta (31), Ashu Chalwa (46), a Director at Oakbay Investments, Ronica Regavan (40), a Director Oakbay Investments, Nazeem Howa (55), former Director of Oakbay Investments and Kamal Vasram (38), former Director of Estina (PTY) Ltd were released on bail ranging from R10 000 to R200 000 with strict conditions. They appeared in the Bloemfontein Regional Court yesterday.

Mulaudzi said the bail conditions  include reporting to their local police station twice a week, seizure of their passports, reporting to the investigating officer when leaving the area of jurisdiction and not to interfere with any state witnesses.  

“On Wednesday the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Crime Unit assisted by the SAPS National Intervention Unit (NIU) executed warrants of arrests in Gauteng and the Free State which led to five arrests. On Thursday morning, three suspects; Vasrum, Howa and Regavan handed themselves over to the investigating team in Bloemfontein,” Mulaudzi said.

The eight suspects are expected to appear again at the same on 17 August 2018.

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