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AFU adamant money paid into Atul Gupta’s account was illicit

The unit made the comments in its response to Gupta’s challenge of a preservation order, which saw the sum of money seized last month.

A screengrab of Atul Gupta. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA – The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) is adamant that the millions paid into Atul Gupta’s Bank of Baroda account are the proceeds of criminal conduct which he was party to.

The unit made the comments in its response to Gupta’s challenge of a preservation order, which saw R10 million seized last month.

Eight suspects appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court last Friday in connection with the Estina Dairy farm investigation.

Gupta’s brother Ajay was supposed to be among the accused but he is now considered a fugitive after failing to present himself to the authorities.

AFU acting head Knorx Molelle says evidence shows that the source of the money paid into Atul Gupta’s Bank of Baroda account was derived through a series unlawful activities, such as theft and money laundering.

Molelle says the crimes were committed in concert by a group of related individuals and entities in a planned and co-ordinated manner.

He says a substantial amount of money was syphoned out of the Free State Agriculture Department to Estina.

The advocate says the offences did not stop there but extended to several individuals and entities who became recipients of proceeds of unlawful activity such as Gupta.