It’s been a while since the Guptas felt this hot under the collar, but the US Treasury have truly cranked up the pressure on the Indian billionaires. After announcing major sanctions against the family and business associate Salim Essa on Thursday, there’s been a renewed vigour around bringing Atul, Ajay and Rajesh to justice.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Tweeted about the issue this week. He said it was vital to show that “those involved in corruption will face the consequences”. We haven’t had a Trump Tweet on the matter yet, but that’s arguably because the story has not featured on Fox News.
Today’s @USTreasury sanctions against Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta & Salim Essa make clear that those involved in corruption will face consequences. This action reaffirms the United States’ commitment to support the rule of law & accountability in South Africa & globally.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 10, 2019
Bringing the Guptas back to South Africa
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has explained South Africa’s position on the Guptas. He has confirmed that an international collaborative effort is underway to find out if the brothers can be brought back to the shores of Mzansi to face a criminal investigation:
“These sanctions ensure that the individuals involved are prohibited from conducting any business in the US, or from working with any American company worldwide. In the context of the international and domestic framework, both the US and South Africa enjoy close cooperation on matters of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA).”
“South Africa has since issued MLA requests to countries around the world – including America. It is critical that our young democracy confronts corruption and its effects expeditiously.”
What countries have been asked to help investigate the Guptas?
So, who else has decided to get their hands dirty? As the Justice Department confirmed on Friday, here’s who has been asked to join South Africa in the fight against the Guptas.
- Hong Kong
Worldwide efforts to bring down our state captors
That’s a tasty list of countries, it has to be said. Two of the world’s biggest superpowers – China and the US – have already agreed to provide us with MLA to take down the Guptas. In fact, we have a list of nations from almost every corner of the globe.
The European tax haven of Switzerland have been asked to review their business with the Gupta brothers, as have the lungs of the South Asian economy, Hong Kong. Mauritius and Canada will also be tasked with backing-up these international efforts, which are threatening to hit the Guptas exceptionally close to home.
Both India and the UAE – known residences of the Guptas – have also been approached to help with South Africa’s pursuit of justice. The government have been criticised for failing to act on the Gupta-lead scourge of corruption, but according to Lamola, the Justice Department feel like they’re on the right track:
“We are putting all measures in place with India and Dubai to ensure that law enforcement agencies are able to do their job. If they need to extradite them, they are able to do so. There is some kind of communication that we have taken to India and Dubai and we are chasing a conclusion on the matter soon”