Gupta UAE

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

“Ajay Gupta left for Dubai 10 days ago” – OR Tambo officials

Has Ajay just said Du-bye to the South African authorities?

Gupta UAE

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

Airport officials for OR Tambo in Johannesburg have told EWN that Ajay Gupta hopped on a Dubai-bound Emirates flight on Tuesday 6 February.

Mr Gupta has since been declared a fugitive by Hawks. On Thursday, Gupta associates were taken to a Bloemfontein court to face charges of fraud, and to be held accountable for their part in the Estina Dairy Project.

What is the Estina Dairy Project?

It is the mother of all state capture operations, and it is shaping up to be the eventual downfall of the Gupta financial crime syndicate. Back in 2013, the billionaires came up with a very convoluted plan to launder money through the Free State government.

They set up a bogus farming company called Estina, and used their significant political influence to get R114 million worth of investment towards their project. However, that money was soon transferred to the Guptas’ other businesses in Dubai, and even into personal accounts held by the brothers.

They swindled the state for personal gain, and life has been pretty sweet for the last few years. However, recent raids at their Saxonwold residence and the intense pressure coming from state capture investigations has blown their scheming wide open.

OR Tambo to hand over video footage of Ajay Gupta

EWN confirmed that airport officials will meet with Hawks investigators to hand over video footage showing Gupta’s departure, and to verify the flight details. However, bringing Ajay Gupta to justice in this country may be a difficult task.

If he is still in Dubai, no extradition agreement between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates has been written into law. Frustratingly, an extradition treaty has been agreed, but it hasn’t yet been signed off.

However, authorities in the UAE will still be compelled to help their South African counterparts, due to the Mutual Legal Assistance agreement held between the two countries. So where there’s a will, there might be a way.