UK imposes sanctions against Gupta brothers, Salim Essa
Cape Town – UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has imposed sanctions against the state capture-accused Gupta brothers and associate Salim Essa.
Ajay, Atul and Rajesh “Tony” Gupta and Essa – who “were at the heart of a long-running process of corruption in South Africa which caused significant damage to its economy’’ – are among 22 people from six countries who face restrictions ranging from visa bans to asset freezes after the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office expanded its sanctions regime to include corruption for the first time. The Gupta brothers have denied any wrongdoing.
They fall under the first wave of measures under the new Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime, which gives the UK unprecedented power to stop corrupt actors profiting from the UK economy, imposes asset freezes and travel bans against individuals, PTI reported.
“Corruption has a corrosive effect as it slows development, drains the wealth of poorer nations and keeps their people trapped in poverty. It poisons the well of democracy,” said Raab.
“The individuals we have sanctioned today have been involved in some of the most notorious corruption cases around the world. Global Britain is standing up for democracy, good governance and the rule of law. We are saying to those involved in serious corruption: we will not tolerate you or your dirty money in our country,” he said.
Others on the list include those involved in the diversion of $230 million of Russian state property through a fraudulent tax refund scheme uncovered by Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in 2009 having uncovered one of the largest tax frauds in recent Russian history.
Sudanese businessman Ashraf Seed Ahmed Hussein Ali, widely known as Al Cardinal, is sanctioned for his involvement in the "misappropriation" of significant amounts of state assets in one of the poorest countries in the world.
The remaining individuals on the sanction list are said to be involved in serious corruption in Latin America, including facilitating bribes to support a major drug trafficking organisation and “misappropriation that has led to citizens being deprived of vital resources for development”.