Cape Town - While there has been widespread praise after it was revealed that the Gupta brothers, Rajesh and Atul were arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the biggest question is: so what now?
On Tuesday morning, Dubai police released a statement confirming they had arrested the duo after receiving a red notice from the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).
Interpol issued a red notice for the Gupta brothers’ arrest in July last year.
The Gupta brothers fled South Africa in 2018 amid pressure for their arrest.
The family fled South Africa after allegations they were involved in grand-scale looting which was characterised as State Capture.
“The Dubai police have arrested Atul and Rajesh Gupta, among South Africa’s most wanted suspects, in connection with money laundering and criminal charges in South Africa.
“Dubai police made the arrests after receiving a red notice for the Gupta brothers by Interpol. The force has also coordinated with authorities in South Africa regarding the extradition file to complete the legal procedures.
“The arrests reflect the continuous efforts of the UAE in combating money laundering crimes through local cooperation among the competent authorities including the Ministry of Justice, Dubai Public Prosecution, the Executive Office to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, and the Financial Intelligence Unit as well as through vital coordination and collaboration with international counterparts,” the statement said.
The South African National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Mthunzi Mhaga confirmed it was engaging with authorities in the UAE regarding the extradition of the Gupta brothers.
“Extradition is a complex process involving many role players, including the Executive. It would therefore not be appropriate for the NPA to discuss the details of that process in the media but can confirm that we are engaging with relevant authorities in SA and UAE.
“The NPA has an experienced team of internal and external experts who are working closely with law enforcement and our partners in the criminal justice system on the matter,” Mhaga said.
A number of political parties and civil society movements in the country have called for a speedy extradition process of the Gupta brothers.
The Gupta brothers were fingered as central figures in State Capture.
IOL previously reported Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s report found that the Guptas used their close relationship with former president Jacob Zuma to score lucrative deals with the power utility Eskom.
“The evidence proves a scheme by the Guptas to capture Eskom, install the Guptas' selected officials in strategic positions within Eskom as members of the board, the committees of the board and the executives and then divert Eskom's assets to the Guptas' financial advantage.
“Central to the Guptas’ scheme of state capture was President Zuma, who the Guptas must have identified at a very early stage as somebody whose character was such that they could use him against the people of South Africa, his own country and his own government to advance their own business interests — and President Zuma readily opened the doors for the Guptas to go into the SOEs and help themselves to the money and assets of the people of South Africa,” the State Capture report read.