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NPA teams up with Dubai to recover millions from Estina scandal

The NPA says insolvency practitioner Eugene Nel has already begun the process of preserving the millions of rand transferred to Dubai by the Gupta family.

The courtroom at the Bloemfontein magistrates court where suspects, including a member of the Gupta family, are expected to appear on 15 February 2018. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it has appointed a curator to begin communicating with Dubai law enforcement agencies to preserve the millions of rands allegedly syphoned out of the Free State's Estina Dairy Farm.

It follows an application granted to the Asset Forfeiture Unit by the High Court in Bloemfontein to increase the preservation order to R250 million following the initial January order.

The prosecuting authority believes R169 million stolen from the dairy project - which was aimed at benefiting local Free State farmers - is no longer here in South Africa.

The NPA says insolvency practitioner and liquidator Eugene Nel has been appointed as curator and has already begun the process of preserving the millions of rand transferred to Dubai by the controversial Gupta family.

The NPA's Luvuyo Mfako says although there’s no official cooperation agreements between the UAE and South Africa, there is a working relationship.

“The curator must have that order registered in that country, then the legal process starts, then we would apply and say we need assistance.”

The Hawks have arrested eight people in connection with this scandal but Ajay Gupta is still considered a fugitive.