NPA Directorate firmly in pursuit of Gupta kingpin Salim Essa and ex-McKinsey partner Vikas Sagar

NPA Directorate firmly in pursuit of Gupta kingpin Salim Essa and ex-McKinsey partner Vikas Sagar
Illustrative image: Gupta enterprise kingpin Salim Essa; former McKinsey & Co partner Vikas Sagar. (Photos: Supplied)

The Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority maintains Essa and Sagar are wanted alongside Gupta lieutenant Ashok Narayan, and says plans to extradite them are under way.

The names of former McKinsey & Co partner Vikas Sagar and Gupta enterprise kingpin Salim Essa are conspicuously absent from the State’s latest draft indictment in the Transnet criminal case.

So too is that of longtime Gupta enterprise employee Ashok Narayan.

But none of them is off the hook and they officially remain suspects wanted on criminal charges relating to an advisory contract linked to Transnet’s acquisition of locomotives, the Investigating Directorate (ID) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed.

The three men were first added to a draft indictment in September 2022 when the ID confirmed that warrants for their arrest had been issued. 

They were a no-show when the other accused in the case briefly came before the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Palm Ridge, east of Johannesburg, on 7 December 2023. 

Those who did appear were provided with an updated draft indictment, this time sans the names of Essa, Sagar and Narayan. 

The ID said this was because the three had not been extradited yet.

The ID was still trying to extradite them as they remained wanted suspects, it said in a written response to questions from Daily Maverick

Considering that more than a year has passed since the three were first named in court and they have failed to appear in court several times since then, Daily Maverick asked the ID for basic details of any extradition process but was told:

“We cannot provide this information as it will negatively impact the process.”

Essa, Sagar and Narayan would have to be located, presumably through Interpol, to aid extradition bids by South African authorities still reeling from the mess around efforts to get two Gupta brothers extradited from Dubai. 

Essa is believed to be in Dubai, but has not given any indication of his precise whereabouts in ongoing litigation against the State Capture Commission. 

Sagar, at last check, was based in the UK, while Narayan has been spotted in the company of some of the younger generation of Guptas in Uzbekistan over the years.

Meanwhile, the representative of the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co, former Transnet bigwigs Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh, Phetolo Ramosebudi and Garry Pita, and businessmen Eric Wood, Litha Nyhonyha and Niven Pillay are due back in court early next year. 

The State is expected to make available the final indictment before moving the case to the high court in the first quarter of 2024.

Should the trial formally kick off next year it will be more than two years since the arrest of businessman Kuben Moodley, who in September 2021 was the first to be apprehended in connection with the case. 

Commonly referred to as the Transnet case, the prosecution of this group relates to an advisory contract flowing from the state-owned logistics company’s acquisition of locomotives. 

They face charges including fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. They have not yet pleaded. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Paul Savage says:

    “Firmly in pursuit”??? Sounds to me like the NPA is doing everything in its power not to pursue anyone. How many years have they had this case in their care? A more useless bunch of procrastinators it would be difficult to image.

  • Les Thorpe says:

    “NPA Directorate firmly in pursuit of Gupta kingpin Salim Essa”.

    Headline in 2032.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      The Gupta’s were assisted to leave with the loot accompanied by the son of a sitting government leader, the NPA is chasing after a rich employee who was working for a well protected syndicate, and a lot of information has been removed by Shawn something so there will be something always missing for a conviction, can we see less taxes deducted for nonsense we need to build the economy

  • Con Tester says:

    The NPA has left quite a lot of low-hanging state capture fruit simply to rot on the tree. Its only “successes,” if one may call them that, is an endless stream of hackneyed excuses for repeatedly dashing the public’s hopes of some meaningful criminal convictions.

    All the while, there’s plenty of private help available out there for the asking, so why aren’t they? 🤔

  • Iam Fedup says:

    Anyone willing to place a bet with me that the final result will be… nothing? I’d stake my home on it.

  • Patrick O'Shea says:

    If it were Russia, they would have been in a penal colony for a few years already.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      You remind me of the time a certain leader in the ANC tried to condemn Russia for the war in Ukraine and Putin’s response was he will not be told by a government that steals from its own people and as usual our government failed to pay attention

  • Dragon Slayer says:

    … or they are just too politically connected!

  • Pieter van de Venter says:

    But they rather chase ghosts of 40/50 year old cases against old white men defending their beliefs!! Much more efficient in chasing 80 year old people than the young thieves.

  • Hidden Name says:

    Try them in absentia. They dont actually need to be there – and if they chose not to be to defend themselves, well sad for them. Convictions will allow asset forfeiture to move in on their local and international assets, as I understand things….

  • Thys De Beer says:

    As long as the NPA is run by The ANC!!!!! they will do anything in their power to stall the case
    Cadre’s are involved in the looting

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