Monday is D-Day for Gupta brothers to appear before Indian tax authorities

26 March 2018 - 06:00 By Nico Gous
Ajay and Atul Gupta. File photo.
Ajay and Atul Gupta. File photo.
Image: Muntu Vilakazi/Gallo Images

Monday is D-Day for the Gupta brothers to appear before Indian tax authorities.

Atul‚ Ajay and Rajesh initially had to appear on March 16‚ but the tax authorities granted them a 10-day extension.

The brothers could reportedly be charged with money laundering and fraudulently amassing properties.

Amrendra Kumar‚ a senior income tax official in India’s Uttar Pradesh state‚ previously told Reuters the Gupta brothers were suspected of finding ways to bring “illicit money” into India.

Tax authorities raided Gupta properties in Dehradun and Saharanpur on March 6. reported 125 Gupta-linked properties were identified in the raids.

The Times of India reported the brothers flew to Dubai after a recent stay in Dehradun.

The Times of India reported on Sunday that tax authorities were also probing the relationship of the Gupta brothers with aviation company Heritage Aviation Private Limited that operates helicopters in Kedarnath‚ Uttarakhand.

A tax official said: “The firm will have to explain its dealing with people close to the Gupta brothers. The firm had leased a chopper from the Gupta brother’s firm (Sahara Computers).”

One of the company directors‚ Rohit Mathur‚ said: “My firm has a joint venture with the company belonging to the Gupta brothers and I know them as business partners.”

The High Court in Johannesburg ruled last week on Monday that the Gupta brothers must return their Bombardier jet to Lanseria airport pending the outcome of court proceedings in England.

The Export Development Canada (EDC) brought an urgent application to ground the aircraft on February 15‚ a day after the Hawks raided the Gupta compound in Saxonwold and announced Ajay was considered a fugitive from the law.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was also ordered to deregister the aircraft with the tail number ZS-OAK‚ which effectively means it will not be able to fly anywhere in the world.

The Guptas have 15 days to comply. They are expected to appeal the ruling.

South African police raided Johannesburg properties belonging to the Gupta brothers and their allies in connection with a probe into allegations of state capture on February 14.

Atul and Rajesh are also on the run from South African authorities.

The brothers are expected to be central to the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.