Guptas submit bids for asylum, AI reports

By Paul Richardson

Atul and Rajesh Gupta, who are wanted by South African authorities on charges of money laundering and fraud, applied for asylum in two other nations on the continent, Africa Intelligence reported, without citing anyone.

The brothers sent applications to the authorities in Cameroon and the Central African Republic, the Paris-based newsletter said. The governments of both countries are considering the requests, it said.

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The applications were sent to countries outside the Southern African Development Community, whose members are bound by protocol to respect extradition requests from fellow members states that include South Africa, AI said.

The Guptas were arrested in the United Arab Emirates in June 2022. They were detained after Interpol placed them on its most-wanted list. South Africa has requested the brothers’ extradition from the UAE, and is awaiting an update on the application.

A South African judicial inquiry into state corruption detailed close links between the Guptas and former President Jacob Zuma, with numerous witnesses alleging they worked hand-in-hand to siphon money out of state transport, power and arms companies and jointly decided who was appointed to the cabinet. The Gupta brothers and Zuma deny the allegations.

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