NEWS
23/02/2018 06:55 SAST | Updated 23/02/2018 07:25 SAST

'Bank Statements Prove Atul Gupta Stole Estina Cash'

The Hawks' AFU says it can prove that Atul benefited from the Estina project to the tune of R10-million.

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Bank statements in the NPA's possession prove that Atul Gupta benefited from the Estina dairy farm project, Business Day reported on Friday. This is apparently according to an answering affidavit submitted by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU)'s acting head, Knorx Molelle, in response to Guptas' attempt to set aside the AFU's freezing order against his assets.

The AFU obtained an order freezing R10-million in his personal account which it alleged is the proceeds of crime.

It is alleged that the Gupta family benefited to the tune of millions from a R220-million black-emerging-farmers benefit scheme in the Free State. The money never reached the farmers.

While eight people have appeared in court on charges related to the alleged scam, Atul Gupta has not been charged and his whereabouts are unknown.

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Gupta reportedly told the court that the NPA has no evidence that the money was linked to any crime.

But according to Business Day, Molelle and a financial investigator at the AFU, Nkosiphendule Mradla, said that they merely did not attach all the annexes to the initial bundle of documents given to the court due to its voluminous nature. The AFU says it has eight lever arch files full of documentation related to the case.

The AFU insists it has bank details proving its case which will be made available to the court when it goes to trial.

"The applicants have elected to make bare denials that the property is not the proceeds of unlawful activities without providing any evidence in support thereof," Molelle reportedly told the court.

According to TimesLive, Molelle further states that it is a "mystery" how Atul Gupta can oppose the freezing of R10-million that he claims he did not receive.

"I submit that it is baffling in the main‚ that the second applicant [Atul Gupta] is affected by the order and claims an interest in respect of the payment of R10-million which he‚ in his own version‚ never received and is essentially nonexistent," he said.

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Gupta's application will be heard on March 1.

Atul's older brother, Ajay, is considered a fugitive after refusing to hand himself over to the Hawks. He is believed to be abroad, either in Dubai or in India.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), the Hawks again called for Ajay to hand himself over on Thursday. His attorney, Rudi Krause, reportedly said he has been asking the police for a copy of the arrest warrant, as he can't simply accept that a warrant has been issued.