South Africa: Interpol issues red notices to Guptas, associates

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Interpol issued “red notices,” requesting the arrest of Atul and Rajesh, brothers of former president Jacob Zuma, and their associates, for alleged fraud. South African prosecutors stated Monday.

A red notice is a request for law enforcement officers worldwide to locate and provisionally detain a person pending extradition or surrender, or any other legal action.

Interpol did not immediately reply to a Reuters inquiry for comment.

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority stated in a statement, that notices were also issued to the Guptas wives and business associates.

These notices concern suspected fraud of 25 million rand ($1.76million) in the Free State province’s Agriculture department.

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The NPA reported that a criminal case was transferred to Bloemfontein High Court, where it will be tried in September.

Reuters was unable to reach the Guptas and their representatives for comment, but Zuma as well as the Guptas issued blanket denies of wrongdoing in Zuma’s nine-year tenure until 2018.

Their relationship is the focus of a judicial inquiry into high-level corruption allegations against Zuma while he was president.

Zuma refused to cooperate with the investigation despite being ordered by the court to appear and provide evidence.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment by the Constitutional Court for defying the order. Zuma however has requested that the sentence be canceled. Zuma and his brothers, who were born in India, fled South Africa following Zuma’s ousting as head of state. They are now believed to be living in Dubai. This year, the United Arab Emirates ratified an extradition agreement with South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa hopes that this will result in the Guptas being remanded to their original positions.

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