On 10 October 2019, the United States revealed that they were putting sanctions on the Gupta family and one of their business associates.
Guptas sanctioned by the United States of America
Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh Gupta, and Salim Essa were all officially
sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign
Assets Control (OFAC). Treasury called them “a significant corruption network
in South Africa.”
OFAC sanctioned the four men due to their illegal actions in
South Africa. Treasury stated how the men had “leveraged overpayments on
government contracts, bribery, and other corrupt acts to fund political
contributions and influence government actions.”
House of Lords member asks Britain to sanction Guptas
Now in response to this, a member of the British House of Lords has asked the British government to follow suit. The House of Lords member is Lord Peter Hain, who has strong ties to South Africa.
Hain wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging him to impose the sanctions. The member wants his country to sanction the Gupta family with similar rules as the ones mentioned by the United States.
In his letter, Hain wrote that just as the United States
Treasury sanctions forbade domestic entities from doing business with the
family, he too, would like to see all United Kingdom entities instructed to
impose a similar ban.
Hain names companies involved with Guptas
Hain went as far as naming some of the entities he believed
were involved with the Gupta family in their criminal endeavours. The House of
Lords member named London-based banks like HSBC, Standard Chartered, and the
Bank of Boroda.
Hain accused the banks of recently facilitating money laundering by the Guptas. The member previously raised this point in the House of Lords in 2017 and in 2018.
South Africa asks for extradition treaty ratification
The Gupta family are based in a number of countries across
the world. These include their native India and the United Arab Emirates.
In the case of the United Arab Emirates, South Africa’s Justice
Department has requested them to finalise “the ratification of a Mutual Legal
Assistance Agreement and an Extradition Treaty.”
The Justice Department is also requesting assistance from
several countries on the matter. These include the United States, Canada,
Switzerland, Mauritius, Hong Kong, and China.
It is believed that the Gupta brothers are currently
residing in Dubai. Hain gave the exact address in his letter.