Bentley‚ Lamborghini‚ Maserati - the Gupta cars

22 February 2018 - 15:52
By Petru Saal
This picture is being used for illustrative purposes only - the car shown is a Maserati GranTurismo S.
Image: 123RF/Massimiliano Clari This picture is being used for illustrative purposes only - the car shown is a Maserati GranTurismo S.

A trawl through the infamous leaked Gupta emails has unearthed an impressive and expensive collection of exotic cars that were registered to the family’s address in Saxonwold‚ Johannesburg.

A Bentley‚ Lamborghini and Maserati are among the vehicles linked to the address in correspondence contained in the leaked emails.

A researcher at the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) traced more than 100 vehicles to the family‚ their address and various businesses.

But their whereabouts now – as the Hawks intensify an investigation into state capture - are uncertain.

The family have been implicated in a scam that allegedly siphoned more than R200-million meant to benefit emerging farmers in the Free State. The Hawks are seeking Ajay Gupta while some of the family’s business associates have appeared in court.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained a preservation order to freeze R10-million from the project it believes was paid to Atul Gupta. Atul is challenging the claim.

In the previously leaked email correspondence‚ cars were discussed as having to either be serviced or repaired.

Those linked to Saxonwold also included a BMW Z4‚ Chrysler Crossfire‚ Cadillac‚ Range Rover‚ Mercedes C-Class‚ BMW 750i‚ Audi Q7‚ BMW M5 and BMW X5.

The emails also mentioned the Porsche‚ with GP registration plates‚ driven by Duduzane Gupta when he collided with a minibus taxi in 2014 on the M1 motorway in Gauteng. A young women‚ Mekelina Dube‚ was killed in the collision. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) recently confirmed that it is reconsidering a decision not to prosecute Zuma‚ the son of former president Jacob Zuma‚ on charges of culpable homicide related to the crash.

Outa’s trawl also revealed vehicles registered to companies associated with the Guptas including Sahara (Mercedes Benz vehicles and a Jeep among other‚ more pedestrian‚ models); TNA Media Head Office; INFINITY Media and TNA addresses in Durban and Cape Town.

Outa’s chief operating officer‚ Ben Theron‚ said although the emails provided proof that the assets were used‚ it was difficult to say where the vehicles were now. “The information we have from the Gupta Leaks stem from a year ago. There are many assets like houses. We don’t know how relevant that list is compared to today.”

Theron said it was disappointing that authorities had taken so long to act on allegations of state capture.

Outa also traced numerous properties‚ mentioned in the emails‚ that were owned by companies linked to the Guptas.