Guptas denied bail
Gupta Brothers. Photo: SABC

Home » Confusion persists regarding alleged Guptas arrest in India

Confusion persists regarding alleged Guptas arrest in India

There are conflicting reports over the alleged Guptas arrest in India this week in connection with a suicide. Read more about this here.

28-05-24 15:08
Guptas denied bail
Gupta Brothers. Photo: SABC

Confusion reigns over the apparent Guptas arrest in India this week. This follows the suicide of a high-profile builder. According to India Today, two of the three Gupta brothers were arrested in Uttarakhand this past weekend.

Many believed news of the Guptas arrest in India this past weekend was a positive break for South Africa. Authorities have been trying to get the brothers extradited to face charges for looting billions of Rands through state capture. It is estimate state capture cost South Africa as much as R613 billion during Zuma’s tenure as ANC president.


Guptas arrest in India
The alleged state capture by the Guptas is estimate to have cost the country R613 billion. Image: File

Late last year, Deputy President Paul Mashatile and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola went to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to facilitate the extradition of Atul and Rajesh Gupta. However, the Guptas appear to have fled to India.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) confirms that the Guptas are wanted on money laundering and fraud charges in South Africa. After fleeing South Africa on a private plane, they were arrested in the UAE in June 2022, following Interpol’s intervention. Now, following the alleged Guptas arrest in India, the NDPP has the task of getting Indian authorities to declare them fugitives in that country, too.


Guptas arrest in India
Jacob Zuma allowed the Guptas to run riot for several years, raiding South Africa’s wealth. Image: File

According to reports, two of the three Gupta brothers were arrested on Saturday after Satinder Singh Sawhney named them in his suicide note before jumping off a building. IOL reports the Guptas arrest in India was facilitated after Sawhney’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Guptas threatened him. As a result, this lead him to take his own life. His son, Ranvir Sahni, lodged the complaint against the Guptas with police.

Furthermore, Sahni said his father was constantly threatened by Ajay and Anil Gupta, over financial matters. A written complaint was submitted to the local police in May 2023 about the Gupta’s threats, harassment, intimidation, and blackmail. This provided the prima facie evidence for the Guptas arrest in India and both were produced in court this past Saturday, confirmed Senior Police Superintendent Ajay Singh.


Guptas arrest in India
Atul Gupta, at the bottom of the steps to his Saxonwold, Johannesburg home. Image: KEVIN SUTHERLAND (2011)

However, confusion reigns over whether these are the correct Guptas. Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says preliminary investigations indicate the arrested pair are not the Guptas South Africa wants, reports TimesLive. “According to the information at our disposal, verified by our high commissioner in India, the Guptas that have been arrested are not the ones we want. Per the warrant of arrest issued by South Africa, and the red notice issued by Interpol, it is not Ajay and Atul Gupta,” asserts Lamola.

However, investigative journalism website amaBhungane has confirmed that the images of the Gupta brothers behind bars are indeed the ‘correct’ brothers. It reports that the photograph provided by Indian journalist Ankit Paliwal, is of Ajay Gupta and his brother-in-law Anil Gupta, in a jail cell in Rajpur.