Gupta UAE

(Photo by Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi)

Terrible news if you’re a Gupta: UAE set to seal extradition deal with SA

Their Dubai hideaways won’t keep them protected for much longer.

Gupta UAE

(Photo by Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi)

With most of their businesses established in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) metropolis may no longer be a safe haven for the Gupta brothers.

As reported by News24, South Africa’s Department of Justice are working to finalise an extradition treaty with their Gulf state counterparts.

Can Ajay Gupta be arrested abroad?

Minister Michael Masutha confirmed that both parties want to “speed up” the process, which would empower South Africa to go after the Guptas in a different jurisdiction.

“On the matter relating to the Gupta question, a few weeks ago I met with the ambassador of the UAE to discuss the speeding up of the finalisation of a mutual legal assistance and extradition bilateral agreement between our two countries.”

“He expressed a strong desire on the part of his government of ensuring we put in place all the necessary systems to facilitate this type of cooperation between our two countries.”

The subject of extradition became a national talking point back in February. With Ajay Gupta declared a fugitive in SA, it was widely speculated he would hot-foot it to Dubai where the brothers own several properties and companies.

Sure enough, video footage of him coming out of a business park in the city came to the boil. A South African businessman asked him if he would return to South Africa. He said yes, but the man behind the camera was then taken in for police questioning.

South Africa’s extradition law with the UAE:

SA does actually have an agreement with the UAE for an extradition treaty. But, for one reason or another, it hasn’t actually been signed off into law.

The only thing that the UAE could currently provide is “Mutual Legal Assistance“; this is where two countries agree to work together on gathering and exchanging information to enforce laws.

Another thing worth noting is that the monarchy of the UAE can also block the extradition of any suspects they want to. So, if Ajay returns to Dubai, it may not be so straight-forward to drag him into a court of law in SA.

Which countries have extradition agreements with South Africa?

Mzansi currently has binding agreements for the exchange of criminals with the following 14 nations:

  • Argentina
  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Swaziland
  • United States of America
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Egypt
  • Algeria
  • Nigeria
  • China
  • India