I-T raids on properties linked to Gupta family in UP, New Delhi, Uttarakhand | world news | Hindustan Times
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I-T raids on properties linked to Gupta family in UP, New Delhi, Uttarakhand

South Africa’s anti-graft watchdog has accused the India-born Gupta brothers of using their friendship with former president Jacob Zuma to influence policy and amass wealth. A senior income tax official in Uttar Pradesh said the Gupta brothers were suspected of finding ways to bring “illicit money” they had earned abroad into India.

world Updated: Mar 07, 2018 11:54 IST
File photo of a police convoy leaving the home of the Gupta family in Johannesburg, South Africa, on February 14.
File photo of a police convoy leaving the home of the Gupta family in Johannesburg, South Africa, on February 14.(Reuters)

Indian tax inspectors on Tuesday raided premises of the Gupta family at the centre of a corruption scandal involving South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, on suspicion they were bringing money into their native country, an official said.

South Africa’s anti-graft watchdog has accused the India-born Gupta brothers of using their friendship with Zuma to influence policy and amass wealth. Zuma and the Gupta brothers deny any wrongdoing.

The raids were conducted at residences of the Guptas in the town of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Dehradun, as well as one of their offices in New Delhi, Amrendra Kumar, a senior income tax official in Uttar Pradesh.

Read: All about the Guptas, a family at the heart of South Africa’s Zuma crisis

Kumar told Reuters that the Gupta brothers were suspected of finding ways to bring “illicit money” they had earned abroad into India.

“We want to look into blocking that way,” Kumar said by telephone, adding that he was involved in ongoing raids.

“They make all kinds of illegal money there outside, these are the allegations which we want to look into,” he said.

The three Gupta brothers —Atul, Ajay and Rajesh —went to South Africa in the early 1990s and built a commercial empire stretching from computers to mining and media.

The Guptas are building a massive temple at a cost $15 million on a prime seven-acre piece of land in their hometown.

Local media reports linked the raids to the source of the funding for construction of the temple.

Last month, South African police raided Gupta properties there as part of an investigation into their dealings.

South Africa’s chief prosecutor declared Ajay Gupta a “fugitive from justice” after he failed to report to police investigators.

A top judge in South Africa will investigate whether the Guptas sought to influence the appointment of cabinet ministers there and were unlawfully awarded state tenders.

South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has made fighting corruption a top priority.