The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) finds Atul Gupta’s application to have a preservation order set aside “baffling”.
That is what the head of the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (NPA)‚ advocate Knorx Molelle‚ said in court papers filed at the Bloemfontein High Court on Wednesday.
Gupta filed an urgent application at the Bloemfontein High Court earlier this week to challenge the AFU freezing R10-million in his bank account. Gupta argued in his affidavit dated February 8 and signed in Dubai that he never received this money. His affidavit was signed and sworn to at the South African Consulate in Dubai.
Molelle said it is a “mystery” how Gupta can seek to have the preservation order set aside for money he denies receiving.
“It remains a mystery how the Second Applicant (Atul Gupta) can have an interest in a property that he clearly denies ever receiving in the first place.”
The AFU froze the R10-million in question that Atul Gupta wants back. It relates to the Estina Dairy Project in Vrede‚ Free State. The project was established in partnership with Gupta-linked company Estina. R220-million meant to benefit poor farmers was allegedly siphoned off from Estina to the Guptas and others. It was adopted by the provincial government without a tender.
The AFU said in earlier court papers only R2-million was spent on the farm. Estina then allegedly transferred money to various individuals‚ including R10-million to Atul Gupta.
This is a developing story.