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SA authorities to rope in Interpol to track down Estina suspects

The Hawks are still trying to confirm the whereabouts of fugitive Ajay Gupta amid claims that he's skipped the country.

Interpol agents monitor an operation. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Interpol has been asked to help track down at least three people accused of corruption in the Estina dairy farm project probe.

Eight accused appeared in a Bloemfontein court last week after raids at several Gupta properties in Johannesburg.

The Hawks are still trying to confirm the whereabouts of fugitive Ajay Gupta amid claims that he's skipped the country.

The Police Ministry's Vuyo Mhaga: "Thirteen warrants of arrest have been issued and those three have been requested to present themselves before the court. Failure to do that will see us communicating with Interpol, who are signatories and will assist us to extradite those individuals."

The Hawks are meanwhile distancing themselves from rewards being offered for Ajay Gupta, and others, who are being sought by the crime-fighting agency.

The rewards - amounting to more than R1.5 million - have been offered by fraud investigator Paul O'Sullivan and Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka.

The Hawks' Hangwani Mulaudzi says this reward strategy is a risky move.

"People will be running after money, so if somebody gets hurt, they will have to take responsibility, so that's why we're saying we're not part of it and we'd not want to be part of it."

Additional reporting by Katleho Sekhotho.