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Ajay and Anil Gupta arrested after alleged involvement in builder’s suicide in Dehradun, India – reports

Ajay and Anil Gupta arrested after alleged involvement in builder’s suicide in Dehradun, India – reports
Ajay and Anil Gupta have been arrested in India for their alleged involvement in the suicide of a prominent builder(Satyendra Singh Sahni). (Image: Thulani Ndaba / X)

The prominent Indian builder had allegedly said in his suicide note that the Gupta’s had been threatening him over financial matters in connection with a partnership project.

Ajay Gupta and his brother-in-law Anil Gupta, were arrested on Friday, for their alledged involvement in the suicide of a prominent builder from Dehradun, India, according to Indian media reports. 

The arrest comes after builder Satyendra Singh Sahni, also known as Baba Sahni, had allegedly wrote in his suicide note that he had been severely depressed as a result of ongoing threats and financial disputes with several businessmen, including Ajay and Anil. 

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says the Gupta family members arrested in India are not Rajesh and Atul Gupta who have been on the run from SA law enforcement since 2016.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ANC final rally at FNB on Saturday morning Lamola had the following to say:

“There are media reports indicating the arrest of Gupta family members in India. We want to clarify for the world that according to information at our disposal from our High Commissioner in India. The Gupta family are not on the warrant of arrest issued by SA and as per red notice of interpol. The red notice is still valid,” the minister reiterated.

Read in Daily Maverick: Part One: What Gupta enterprise corruption cost South Africa

A photograph purportedly of the arrested duo, that Indian publications have issued, show two men in a jail cell have an uncanny similarity to previously published images of the “South African” Ajay and Anil Gupta.

According to a report from The New Indian Express, Ranvir Sahni, son of the deceased builder, had told the police: “My father was constantly being threatened by Ajay Gupta, son of Shiv Gupta, and Anil Gupta, son of Shyam Lal Gupta, residents of Nehru Colony Dalanwala, over financial matters. A written complaint was submitted to the local police on May 19, 2023, about the Gupta brothers’ threats, harassment, intimidation and blackmail.” 

In his statement to the police, Ranvir said the Guptas were exerting pressure on his father to name both of their projects after him. The police told the newspaper that Anil and Ajay had been detained because of their involvement in the case. 

Both accused are expected to appear in court on Saturday, reported The New Indian Express. 

No Connection to South Africa?

The South African-connected Ajay Gupta is the oldest brother in the family, while it was previously reported that Anil is the husband of Gupta’s sister Achla. At the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in 2020, the former head of legal and compliance at Eskom, Suzanne Daniels described how she met Ajay in the presence of former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma, and others in July 2017. 

Daily Maverick reported that the former Eskom executive testified at the Commission that Ajay acted “like he owned the country” in her presence. He wanted details on litigation over former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s R30-million pension payout from the power utility.

Read in Daily Maverick: The total(ish) cost of the Guptas’ State Capture: R49,157,323,233.68

Under the Vanuatuan sun?

The Gupta brothers hurriedly packed up and fled South Africa for Dubai after several South African banks terminated their accounts in 2016. A year later there was really no turning back as the #GuptaLeaks emerged to expose the vast extent of their alleged criminal enterprise.

The remaining Gupta brothers, Atul and Rajesh were arrested in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June 2022, for their roles in South Africa’s State Capture. The news was widely celebrated following years of unsuccessful attempts to apprehend the fugitive brothers. 

But that celebration was short-lived. South Africa’s request to extradite the brothers was quietly turned down following the conclusion of a hearing in Dubai in February 2023. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: The Guptas are gone. No one is to blame, everyone did their best. The end

Speaking at Daily Maverick’s The Gathering in March 2024, Department of Justice spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said as far as the Department was aware, the fugitive brothers were in Dubai. However, unattributed media reports from the past year have located Atul and Rajesh in Switzerland, the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Vanuatu. 

Daily Maverick reported that the brothers had acquired Vanuatu citizenship even though the country’s financial intelligence unit had warned immigration authorities against them in 2018. DM

Additional reporting by Queenin Masuabi.

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  • jcdville stormers says:

    Let see what SA Justice dishes up???

  • Skinyela Skinyela says:

    Just similar last names, but not ‘our’ Guptas.

    • D Dog says:

      Good old Ronald thinks he’s some kind of Jedi. LOL!

    • Greeff Kotzé says:

      Looks like DM might have mangled the reporting on this.

      IOL, on the other hand, quoted Lamola thus:
      “Indeed there are Gupta family members arrested in India, but they are not the ones in the warrant of arrest issued by South Africa and they are also not the ones in terms of the warrant of arrest given to Interpol red notice.”

      In other words, we have an Interpol warrant out for Atul and Rajesh (Tony) Gupta. Their oldest brother, Ajay, is however the one that was arrested in Dehradun, along with his brother-in-law. South Africa does not currently have a warrant of arrest for Ajay Gupta, after the last warrant for his arrest was cancelled in February 2019. (See ‘Ajay Gupta no longer a fugitive after arrest warrant cancelled’ — News24). This came after corruption charges against Duduzane Zuma was dropped the month before. That investigation and the resulting warrants were based on the Mcebisi Jonas “job offer” testimony.

      That would explain why Ajay Gupta is free to travel and was free to return to the family home in India.

      • Johan Buys says:

        India should contact the US – it sanctioned Atul, Ajay and Rajesh. US might want to ask their bankers why those banks have not attached the Gupta assets. It is that, or the banks lose their USD correspondent bank status.

        • Greeff Kotzé says:

          Modi might very well like Zuma more than he does Ramaphosa, though.

          Zuma welcomed Indian citizens into our country, granted them South African citizenship, let them use our Air Force bases, and so much more… and always played the host when Modi came to visit.
          Ramaphosa, on the other hand, tried to prosecute those same Indian citizens, and when Modi came to visit, sent a mere minister to the airport to welcome him (because Ramaphosa was too busy pinning a medal to Modi’s frenemy, Xi Jinping, at the time).

          I’m not too sure that we should be holding our breath while waiting for India to do anything about this particular issue. I suspect that nothing will happen from that side of the world during Zuma’s lifetime.

  • Thamsanqa Khabai says:

    Hi Thank you, journalists

  • Richard Blake says:

    What a wonderful sight. Hopefully the other brothers will be behind bars one day.

  • Canon Mathibeli says:

    Can South African Authorities make means with Indian government to bring Guptas brothers to come and account for their deeds

  • Robert K says:

    These guys are truly prime evil.

  • Ian Ashmole says:

    I have unfortunately met several of the Guptas, and the guy on the left does look very much like Ajay – the guy in the right I do not recognise.

  • Andre Louw says:

    Is this news?

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