S. African Parliament welcomes move to freeze assets of Gupta family
Cape Town, Jan 17 : South Africa’s Parliament on Tuesday hailed an ongoing process to serve a summon on the Indian Gupta family and freeze its assets to the tune of 1.6 billion rand ($130 million).
This came after the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) started the process to serve a summon on the Guptas and freeze its assets, Xinhua reported.
This process should continue “without fear or favour”, said Mathole Motshekga, Chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services.
The AFU applied for three separate orders at the High Court in Pretoria as well as the High Court in Bloemfontein last month, and the ex-parte applications seeking orders to freeze the Guptas’ assets have been granted.
The applications were brought in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, which allows assets of defendants in criminal cases, or people who have yet to be criminally charged to be preserved pending the outcome of their prosecution. After they have been successfully prosecuted, the assets are then permanently forfeited to the state.
Investigators have assured that no stone will be left unturned to ensure that criminals are stopped in their tracks and that they do not benefit from the proceeds of such criminal activities, Motshekga said.
“Criminals must know that the law will deal with them in all respects in the harshest possible way. Nobody is above the law,” said Motshekga.
At least 14 people and two companies have been identified in the case involving the controversial Gupta family.
The Gupta-linked Trillian company and international consultancy giant McKinsey reportedly were sommoned on Tuesday by the AFU, which is under the National Prosecution Authority (NPA).
The Guptas are being investigated for its alleged collaboration with President Jacob Zuma and a number of senior government officials in looting the state coffers, through the awarding of lucrative contracts with state-owned enterprises to Gupta-linked families, known as state capture.
Both the Guptas and Zuma have denied the accusation.
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