Tuesday, 06 July 2021 21:06

Staff Reporter.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had backtracked on its statement that Interpol had issued red notices for the Gupta family.

In a statement on Monday, the NPA’s Investigative Directorate (ID) head, advocate Hermione Cronje, said efforts to bring back the Guptas had intensified.

"Interpol has issued red notices against Atul Gupta and his wife, Chetali; Rajesh Gupta and his wife, Arti; Ankit Jain, former Nulane Investment Bank of Baroda account signatory; Ravindra Nath, director of Wone Management (Pty) Ltd; Ramesh Bhat and Jagdish Parekh, the directors of Pragat Investments (Pty) Ltd."

However, on Tuesday, the ID corrected this statement.

The statement read:While it is correct that red notices have been issued for circulation among law enforcement entities of Interpol member states in respect of four of the eight accused before the Bloemfontein Regional Court; red notices for the four Gupta family members are still under consideration by the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF).

"The CCF is an independent legal body that ensures that all personal data processed through Interpol’s channels conforms to the Interpol Constitution, in particular Article 3, which ‘prohibits any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character’," the statement read.

The ID added that the Gupta family members were on record before the State Capture Commission as being unwilling to travel to South Africa amid concerns that “the National Prosecuting Authority and other law enforcement agencies will be used and abused to prosecute them in circumstances where no case is made out to justify such a prosecution”.

"The CCF is duty-bound to consider submissions of this nature against the requirements of Article 3 before making a decision to issue a red notice."

"We are confident that these notices do not violate the requirements of Article 3 in that they are neither politically motivated nor of a military, religious or racial character."

In addition, attempts to extradite all the accused abroad are underway. In particular, the extradition request in respect of the four Gupta families to the UAE is awaiting confirmation of the presence of the family members in the UAE."

Meanwhile, the case of suspected Gupta associate Iqbal Sharma and his co-accused has been transferred to the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein for trial.The matter will be heard in that court on 6 September.