NPA to oppose Atul Gupta’s bid to keep R10 million linked to Estina saga

The Asset Forfeiture Unit says the money, which was meant to benefit the poor, was paid from the dairy project.

Atul Gupta. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it will be opposing the application by Atul Gupta challenging a preservation order that was used to freeze R10 million linked to the Estina Dairy Farm scandal.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit says the money, which was meant to benefit the poor, was paid from the dairy project.

The NPA says its Asset Forfeiture Unit was served papers sometime last week, confirming that Atul will be challenging the state capture case.

According to the papers, Atul claims there's no evidence that he received money from the Estina dairy project and he wants the order to be set aside.

The NPA’s Luvuyo Mfaku says: “Our team of lawyers from Asset Forfeiture are preparing papers on the matter and will file on 21 February the matter will be heard on 1 March.”

Mfaku says it appears Atul is in Dubai.

“In the papers, he’s indicated that he’s in Dubai. That’s how far I can actually go, that’s what he said in the papers that he’s in Dubai.”

There have been reports that he was spotted in India last week for a wedding, but his whereabouts remain unconfirmed at this point.

AJAY GUPTA ON THE RUN

At the same time, Ajay is on the run and he's been declared a fugitive.

The Hawks are also searching for Ajay, who failed to present himself in court after his lawyers were alerted that he was being sought on corruption charges.

There are reports that Ajay was spotted in Mpumalanga early this month at the Optimum Coal Mine and then again in India last week for a wedding.

But there's no official confirmation of his whereabouts.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)