The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in South Africa has succeeded in persuading Interpol to issue red notices against the Guptas and their wives.
On Monday, 05 July 2021, Investigative Directorate head advocate Hermione Cronje said Interpol has issued red notices against Atul Gupta and his wife, Chetali; Rajesh Gupta and his wife, Arti; former Nulane Investment Bank of Baroda account signatory Ankit Jain; director of Wone Management Ravindra Nath; and the directors of Pragat Investments, Ramesh Bhat and Jagdish Parekh.
She said the docket had been made available to the six accused to enable them to prepare for trial.
The Bloemfontein Regional Court has transferred the criminal case relating to the R25 million Nulane Investment to the Bloemfontein High Court for trial on 06 September 2021.
The National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that the matter was postponed in the absence of the accused, as agreed between the NPA and the defence, in the wake of the Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown regulations. Warrants of arrest against the accused who were out on bail would be issued but stayed until the next appearance date.
Former Transnet board member Iqbal Sharma will remain in custody as he was refused bail in the previous appearance.
Sharma, Nulane Investment employee Dinesh Patel, former Free State head of the Department for Rural Development Peter Thabethe, former head of FSDoA Limakatso Moorosi and former FSDoA chief financial officer Seipati Dhlamini are charged withfraud and money laundering. The former government officials are also facing charges of contravening the PFMA (Public Finance Management Act).
Sharma is one of 16 persons who are facing charges relating to defrauding the Free State Department of Agriculture.
The fraud relates to a R25m feasibility study in 2011 that was irregularly granted to Nulane Investment, a company owned and controlled by Sharma. The company had to provide a report to the department within seven months. Nulane, however, subcontracted the work to Deloitte Consulting for R1.5m.
Then it subcontracted the work completed by Deloitte to Gateway Limited and paid it more than R19m. From there, the funds were diverted to Islandsite Investments, a company owned and controlled by the Gupta family.
As a result of this, the accused have been charged with fraud and money laundering.
Former government officers have also been charged with contravening the Public Finance Management Act.
They are charged together with Nulane Investment 204, Wone Management, Pragat Investment and Islandsite Investments.
The rest of the accused listed in the charge sheet are not in South Africa.