Gupta compound raided to seize assets related to Vrede dairy

Authorities believed to be from the Asset Forfeiture Unit and Sars raided the Gupta Compound on Monday afternoon. Around 20 cars descended on the Saxonwold compound at 2pm.

The formal, notepad-equipped group that emerged waited impatiently outside for close to 20 minutes.

Journalists watched on as they tried to navigate past the bodyguards outside to gain access to the gate. Police meanwhile kept the prying cameras at bay.

Reports suggest the group were initially denied entry on order of the Guptas’ lawyer before finally being let in.

The National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that it had received an order to seize assets from those implicated in the Vrede Dairy Farm fiasco.

“On 11 April 2017, NPA (Asset Forfeiture Unit) obtained a restraint order at the Bloemfontein High Court in the amount of R250 202 652.00 against the assets of several individuals and entities who were implicated in the offences of theft, fraud and money laundering, in respect of the Vrede dairy project: Estina matter,” it said in a statement.

“The order makes provision for the restraint of several assets to the value of R250 202 652.00, pending the finalisation of the criminal trial and upon conviction, the AFU will apply for a confiscation order for the recovery of the said amount and or any related amounts.”

Two months ago the Hawks also raided the Guptas’ Saxonwold compound, which led to the arrest of five individuals connected with investigations into the Free State Vrede dairy project.

Neighbours looked on as the media waited for the authorities to re-emerge from the compound. Passing cars enquired what all the commotion was about.

“We’re getting our money back!” shouted one when he found out.

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Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham is a features writer at the Mail & Guardian

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