Ajay and Atul Gupta File picture: Independent Media

Bloemfontein - In court papers filed at the High Court in the Free State, the Asset Forfeiture Unit has named Atul Gupta as a beneficiary of money received through criminal activity. 

The unit filed papers on Wednesday in response to Gupta’s court challenge of the preservation order of R10 million. 

The order was issued last month and froze the money in his account. 

The AFU falls under the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Gupta filed court papers on February 8, accusing the NPA of obtaining the court order to preserve his assets under dubious means.  

He wants the preservation order set aside.  

ALSO READ: Atul Gupta challenges Estina court order

The AFU said in its response that it had evidence to prove that Gupta was indeed a beneficiary of funds that were siphoned from the Department of Agriculture in the Free State and were eventually paid to Estina.  

Estina is a Gupta-linked company that was awarded a 90-year lease by the Free State government to run a dairy farm project worth millions of rands and was meant to benefit underprivileged farmers.  

Over R200 million was paid to Estina for the project, but only R2 million was used for farming. The rest of the money was paid to various Gupta linked companies. 

Gupta is said to have received R10 million of those funds. 

"The applicants, including the second applicant (Atul) specifically are some of the recipients and beneficiaries of unlawful proceeds. It is common cause that some of the said individuals and entities have been charged for theft, fraud and money laundering, as a result of their involvement in the unlawful criminal activity," read the papers filed by the unit. 

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