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Guptas missed D-Day with Indian tax authorities

Ajay and Atul Gupta.
BIG BROTHERS Ajay and Atul Gupta.

According to media reports the Gupta brothers missed their deadline on Monday to present themselves to Indian tax authorities.

Local journalist Neha Poonia tweeted: “Sources in Income Tax department tell me [the] Gupta brothers missed their summons today. Sources say [the] chartered accountant of Guptas made a representation on their behalf‚ sought more time. One week’s extension [was] granted. [The] next date of summons is April 2.” 

The Times of India reported the Gupta brothers did not report to the Dehradun office on Monday.  “The Gupta brothers would have to answer the notices sent to them‚ otherwise the department will follow procedures‚” a senior tax official told the newspaper.

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. Jagran.com 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 same newspaper reported on Sunday that tax authorities were also probing the relationship of the Gupta brothers with aviation company Heritage Aviation Private Limited‚ which operates helicopters in Kedarnath‚ Uttarakhand. 

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

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‚ Johannesburg‚ and announced Ajay was considered a fugitive from the law.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was ordered to deregister the aircraft with the registration 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 three brothers are expected to be central to the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

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