UPDATE: Gupta-linked group accused of fraud in Vrede dairy farm project off the hook, for now

2018-11-28 15:44
Gupta brothers. (Photo via the Daily Sun, File)

Gupta brothers. (Photo via the Daily Sun, File)

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There will be no prosecution of the controversial Gupta family for now, regarding the Estina Diary farm project scam in the Free State.

This is in connection with the alleged theft of R250m linked to the farm project in Vrede.

The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has written a letter to the legal representatives of all the accused, which states that it has not received any information regarding the mutual legal assistance requests made to India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and as a result, the investigations are not finalized.

The NPA's Luvuyo Mfaku has confirmed that the letter obtained by Business Day was authentic, and referred queries to his Free State spokesperson Phaladi Shuping.

Shuping told News24, that South African law enforcement agencies were hard at work with those from the UAE and India to get "more evidence" in the quest to re-institute the charges against the Guptas.

READ: NPA provisionally withdraws charges in the Estina dairy farm case

As the state's deadline of November 30 to present an indictment to court drew closer, the NPA opted for a provisional withdrawal of the case until such time it is ready.

"Work behind the scenes will continue, and once we are confident with our evidence, the NPA will then consider rescinding the decision to provisionally withdraw the charges.

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 Organized Crime.

Varun Gupta, the nephew of the infamous Gupta brothers, Oakbay CEO Ronica Ragavan, former Sahara executive Ashu Chawla, former TNA media executive Nazeem Howa, Estina director Kamal Vasram and three Free State provincial government officials Peter Thabethe, Sylvia Dlamini and Takisi Masiteng, are the eight suspects with links to the Gupta family, and will now wait to hear if they will again have their day in court, if it comes at all.

Read more on:    estina  |  npa  |  bloemfontein

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