Income Tax officials on Tuesday raided the properties linked to businessman Ajay Gupta and his brothers, who are at the centre of a corruption scandal involving South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma.
The Gupta family, which moved to South Africa in 1990s, is suspected to funnel graft money back home.
South Africa’s anti-corruption watchdog has accused the Gupta brothers of using their friendship with Zuma to influence policy and amass wealth. Zuma and the Gupta brothers deny any wrongdoing.
On Tuesday, IT officials raided the residences of the Guptas in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur and Dehradun and one of their offices in New Delhi.
Amrendra Kumar, one of the senior income tax official involved in the raids, told Reuters that they were reports that the Gupta brothers were making illegal money outside India and have found ways to channel that money back home. "We want to look into blocking that way," Kumar said.
Saharanpur: Income Tax officials conducted raids on the offices and properties of businessman Ajay Gupta and his brothers yesterday. Gupta Brothers have businesses mainly in South Africa and are close associates of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma. pic.twitter.com/N7OcqaaMc1— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 7, 2018
The three Gupta brothers, Atul, Ajay and Rajesh, went to South Africa in the early 1990s and built a commercial empire stretching from computers to mining and media.
Last month, South African police raided Gupta properties there as part of an investigation into their dealings.
South Africa’s chief prosecutor declared Ajay Gupta a “fugitive from justice” after he failed to report to police investigators.
A top judge in South Africa will investigate whether the Guptas sought to influence the appointment of cabinet ministers there and were unlawfully awarded state tenders.
South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has made fighting corruption a top priority.
(With inputs from agencies)