Dubai Police arrest Gupta brothers wanted by South Africa for money laundering

They are among the country's most wanted suspects


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 7 Jun 2022, 11:26 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jun 2022, 9:47 AM

The Dubai Police have arrested Atul and Rajesh Gupta, who are wanted in South Africa over money laundering and criminal charges. The police said the brothers are among South Africa's “most wanted suspects”.

The police made the arrests after receiving a red notice for the Gupta brothers from Interpol. The force is coordinating with the authorities in South Africa to complete the legal procedures related to their extradition file.

In a statement, South Africa’s justice ministry confirmed that it has “received information from law enforcement authorities in the United Arab Emirates that fugitives of justice, namely Rajesh and Atul Gupta, have been arrested".

According to AFP, they were accused of paying bribes in exchange for massive and lucrative state contracts and influence over ministerial appointments.

In July last year, Interpol said the Gupta brothers were being sought for fraud and money laundering in connection with a 25-million rand ($1.6-million) contract paid to a Gupta-linked company, Nulane Investment, to conduct an agricultural feasibility study.

AFP reported that the Guptas came to South Africa in 1993 to build a sprawling business empire in mining, computer technology and media.

They had been granted South African citizenship but fled the country shortly after a judicial commission probing corruption started in 2018.

This is the second high-profile arrest effected by the Dubai Police less than a week. On June 3, a British hedge fund trader was arrested for dividend tax fraud worth $1.7 billion. Sanjay Shah, 52, the alleged mastermind behind the scam, was wanted in Denmark for the past seven years.

Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice, had said then: "International crime requires an international response. The arrest of Sanjay Shah, following receipt of an international arrest warrant from the Danish authorities, sends a clear signal of the UAE’s intent to work in close collaboration with international partners in pursuit of international crime.”

Referring to the arrest of the Gupta brothers, the Dubai Police said it “reflects the continuous efforts of the UAE in combating money laundering crimes”.

This is done in cooperation with competent authorities, including the Ministry of Justice, Dubai Public Prosecution, Executive Office to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, and the Financial Intelligence Unit.


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