Dubai police said Tuesday they arrested two brothers from the Gupta family wanted in connection to a corruption case involving former South African President Jacob Zuma, the latest high-profile extradition case involving the
Police issued a statement saying they arrested brothers Atul and Rajesh Gupta “in connection with money laundering and criminal charges in South Africa.”
The two, as well as their brother Ajay, had been suspected of hiding out in Dubai since fleeing South Africa around the same time Zuma resigned in 2018 amid allegations he had overseen massive levels of corruption at state-owned companies.
Dubai police said they made the arrest after receiving an Interpol “red notice” warrant for the two.
“The arrest reflects the continuous efforts of the UAE in combating money laundering crimes through local cooperation among the competent authorities,” police said.
Dubai police did not immediately acknowledge Ajay Gupta’s whereabouts.
Authorities in South Africa late Monday said the two brothers had been arrested after discussions between them and Dubai officials. However, Emirati authorities did not acknowledge the arrests until Tuesday.
The Guptas are accused of using their association with Zuma to cash in on huge government contracts and kickbacks, and were believed to be so influential they had a say in Zuma’s appointment of Cabinet ministers.
The US Treasury Department placed the three Gupta brothers on a sanctions list in 2019, accusing them of being “members of a significant corruption network.” That forbids US entities from conducting business with them or handling their assets.
Zuma was president from 2009 until he was forced to step down by his African National Congress Party amid the graft scandal.
Last week, Dubai police similarly arrested a British man wanted in Denmark over an alleged $1.7 billion tax fraud case.