By Own Correspondent
South African Director-general of the justice department advocate Doctor Mashabane confirmed new developments of the identification of the Guptas who are said to be citizens of Vanuatu in the Pacific islands.
“This was a new development for us because previously their status was that they were carrying South African citizenship. I think this is a critical development as well that the UAE court recorded them as being citizens of Vanuatu.”
The brothers where earlier reported to be in custody in UAE but recently spotted in Switzerland and believed to have used their S.A passports to travel.
According to the UN, Vanuatu is a culturally and linguistically diverse nation of 83 volcanic and coral islands in the South Pacific, located 1,750km east of northern Australia and 1,200km west of Fiji.
About 80% of Vanuatu’s population of an estimated 300,000 people live in rural areas. It is considered the world’s most at-risk nation for natural disasters.
Since the state capture scandal, several of the Guptas’ assets in South Africa have been frozen by the state, including a private jet, their mansion in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, and one in Constantia, Cape Town.
They left South Africa for Dubai after being wanted in South Africa on criminal charges on two matters — the so-called Nulane and Estina cases.
Last month, the justice ministry expressed frustration at the long wait for an update on the status of the extradition application it filed with the UAE.
Minister Ronald Lamola said was optimistic after a visit by the department’s central authority to the UAE to ensure that the application met the requirements of the UAE authorities.
However, the Gupta brothers Rajesh and Atul, no longer have Interpol red notices attached to their names which would have paved the way for their arrest to face fraud and money laundering charges in South Africa.
The extradition was not successful.
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