WATCH: Ajay Gupta now a fugitive from the law - Hawks

2018-02-15 15:53

The Hawks have confirmed to News24 that Ajay Gupta is currently a fugitive.

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Last Updated at 13:02
15 Feb 08:58

ICYMI:

3 arrested in Hawks Gupta raids

he Hawks have arrested three people following a raid at the Guptas' Saxonwold residence on Wednesday morning.

News24 understands that one Gupta brother and a business associate are among those arrested and more arrests are imminent..

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they were currently conducting ongoing operations at various addresses in Gauteng.

Mulaudzi said the operations were part of the Vrede farm investigations.


15 Feb 08:58

ICYMI:

Gupta latest: Atul in talks, Ajay officially under arrest

Tense negotiations are still under way with the lawyers of five suspects arrested by the Hawks in connection with the R220m looted from the failed dairy farm in Vrede, Free State.


15 Feb 08:58

COLUMN: The house of Zupta is tumbling down

Writing about bankruptcy, Ernest Hemingway famously penned that it happened "gradually and then suddenly".

The Zupta empire led by Godfather Jacob and Dons Ajay, Atul, Tony and Duduzane, are experiencing that right now.

They may not be bankrupt (yet), but their criminal syndicate is quickly imploding as the Nasrec winds of change sweep over the country.

Why didn't the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority pounce on the Zuptas years ago when people like Maseko, Mcebisi Jonas, Vytjie Mentor, Barbara Hogan and others started to expose the heart of state capture?


15 Feb 08:59

THE LATEST:

Gupta linked five to face the music at the Bloemfontein Regional Court

Five people arrested during Hawks raids on various Gupta compounds are to appear in the Bloemfontein Regional Court on Thursday, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed.

The suspects were arrested in connection with investigations into the Free State Vrede dairy farm project, Mulaudzi said.

One Gupta brother and a business associate are among those arrested and more arrests are imminent, News24 understands.

City Press reported that that former Free State agriculture head Peter Thabethe was arrested in connection with his involvement in the failed dairy farm project.


15 Feb 09:00
EFF members and DA members outside the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court. (Litaletu Zidepa, News24)

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15 Feb 10:34
(Litaletu Zidepa, News24)

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15 Feb 11:30

ONGOING SAPS AND DPCI OPERATIONS

The DPCI (Hawks) working with the NPA in the so-called ‘State of Capture’ investigations commenced to serve warrants of arrests on thirteen (13) suspects yesterday in Bloemfontien and Johannesburg relating to the Vrede Dairy Project.

A total of eight (8) suspects have been arrested during the takedown operation;of which two (2) of the suspects are still being sort while 3 (two of Indiannativity and one of Chinese nativity) are believed to be outside the republic andassistance on them will be sort.

Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula has directed the Acting-Head of DPCI to makesure that all 10 appear before court today.

The DPCI will soon be naming the 2suspects still being sort locally.The Hawks assisted by the National Intervention Unit of the SAPS effected thearrests on some of the implicated suspects while others handed themselves over.

The investigations are still continuing and more arrests cannot be ruled out.

“I must appreciate the patience of the public in general for allowing the lawenforcement agencies to do their work, these investigations naturally take a lot of time.

"Due to the sensitivity and seriousness of these matters it is not possible for the DPCI or my office to provide minute to minute account of the state of capture related investigations but once again assure all that since mid-2017 atleast 17 dockets are being investigated without fear or favor and indeed with noholy-cows”, Mbalula concluded.


15 Feb 11:34

15 Feb 11:35



15 Feb 11:46

Here are the names of the suspects appearing in court today:

Ashu Chawla, Nazeem Howa, Varun Gupta, Ronica Ragavan, Peter Thabethe, Dr Takisi Masiteng and Sylvia Dlamini.


15 Feb 12:05
(Litaletu Zidepa, News24)

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(Litaletu Zidepa, News24)

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(Litaletu Zidepa, News24)

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15 Feb 12:41
The prosecutor explains that the State is not opposed to bail. She says the accused have prepared affidavits for bail. 

15 Feb 12:41

15 Feb 12:48
Peter Thabethe's lawyer is now reading out his affidavit to the court.

15 Feb 13:51
Kamal Vasram's lawyer just read out his affidavit. He says when his client heard about the matter he handed himself over to police - and he is not a flight risk. Prosecutor says they can only allow R200 000 for his bail. 

15 Feb 13:58

15 Feb 14:14

15 Feb 14:18

15 Feb 14:26
ICYMI: The State versus 11 accused, including Oakbay Investments:

15 Feb 14:32
Eight people and 3 companies are implicated in the matter.

15 Feb 14:34
The accused face charges of fraud, theft, conspiracy to commit fraud and theft, contravening the Public Finance Management Act, contravening the Companies Act and contravening sections of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

15 Feb 14:34

15 Feb 14:41

15 Feb 14:42
Accused 1, 2 and 3 (state officials) are granted R10 000 bail each. Accused 7, 8, 9 and 10 (Gupta-linked accused) get bail of R200 000. Vasram's (accused number 5) address must still be confirmed and is therefore stood down.

15 Feb 14:47
The matter relating to Vasram's address will be heard around 15:30, says News24 reporter Jeanette Chabalala. 

15 Feb 14:59

15 Feb 15:16

The Hawks have confirmed to News24 that Ajay Gupta is currently a fugitive.

“We spoke to his lawyers, because he was supposed to hand himself over, but that didn’t happen. We regard [him] as a fugitive because there is a warrant of arrest,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.


15 Feb 15:53

15 Feb 15:59

15 Feb 20:02

FF Plus troubled over bail for accused in Gupta-linked Vrede dairy farm case

The FF Plus described as "extremely disturbing" that the State did not oppose bail for the suspects charged in the Vrede Dairy Project.

Seven suspects arrested in connection with investigations into the Free State Vrede dairy farm project during Hawks raids on various Gupta compounds have been granted bail in the Bloemfontein Regional Court.

Kamal Vasram's case was postponed to Monday. His address needs to be confirmed.

Peter Thabethe, Sylvia Dlamini and Tankisi Masiteng were granted bail of R10 000. Varun Gupta, Nazeem Howa, Ronica Ragavan and Ashu Chawla were granted R200 000 bail.

"These are the people that landed their aeroplane on the Waterkloof Air Force base. Nothing will keep them from fleeing the country, with or without passports," said FF Plus MP Wouter Wessels.

"The fact that the eight accused ... appeared before the court earlier today is certainly a step in the right direction, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The corrupt and dishonest political leaders that spearheaded the Vrede Dairy Project still need to be called to account."

The accused face charges of fraud, theft, conspiracy to commit fraud and theft, contravening the Public Finance Management Act, contravening the Companies Act and contravening sections of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Three companies are also implicated in the matter.

Wessels said the eight suspects are only the tip of the iceberg, noting that the circle of involvement in jobbery at the Vrede Dairy Project stretches much wider.

"We want these eight that were just as involved in the corrupt dealings in the Vrede Dairy Project, along with the political leaders that are pulling the strings, to be called to account as soon as possible."

Wessels said that there are numerous political leaders involved in this matter, like the current Free State Premier and ANC secretary General Ace Magashule, the former Free State MEC for Agriculture Mosebenzi Zwane and nearly the entire provincial Cabinet, which includes almost all the MEC’s.


15 Feb 20:05

Seven Vrede dairy farm project accused released on bail

As police hunt down Ajay Gupta, seven of the eight people arrested by the Hawks during raids at Gupta compounds this week were granted bail in the Bloemfontein Regional Court on Thursday.

On Thursday afternoon - state officials Peter Thabethe, Sylvia Dlamini and Takisi Masiteng were each granted R10 000 bail.

Meanwhile, Gupta-linked suspects Varun Gupta, Ronica Ragavan, Nazeem Howa and Ashu Chawla were each granted R200 000 bail.

The case against Estina director Kamal Vasram was postponed to Monday.  

The State is not opposing bail, but said it was not happy that Vasram's address was not confirmed.

According to the charge sheet, the accused face 12 counts, including theft, fraud, conspiracy to commit theft and fraud.


15 Feb 20:06

State capture arrests: Who are the accused and what are the charges?

Many of the eight Gupta-linked accused who stood before the Bloemfontein Regional Court on Thursday had been identified by the NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit in preservation orders they had obtained last month.


15 Feb 20:08

Justice 'will be seen to be done' in Guptas, Zuma matters – Abrahams

Shaun Abrahams, National Director of Public Prosecutions, says the fact that the Gupta-linked Vrede dairy farm matter in his court means that he is optimistic about the merits of the case.

"I am confident that justice will be seen to be done at the end of the day".

Abrahams also commented on the developments relating to the possible charging of former president Jacob Zuma relating to the 2009 "Spy Tapes" saga.

"I am waiting for the prosecuting team to advise me, to make recommendations to me. I will then consider the matter."

Abrahams gave prosecutors until next Friday to provide him with their recommendations.

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