New Delhi: The Gupta Brothers, who have built a business empire in South Africa, are in the news once again. Two brothers of the Gupta family, Rajesh Gupta and Atul Gupta, have been arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, it is not clear whether a third brother, Ajay Gupta, has been arrested.
Corruption rampant between 2009-2018
The Gupta brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta have been accused of embezzling billions of local currency on a large scale due to their close association with former President Jacob Zuma. The corruption took place between 2009 and 2018. However, he fled to South Africa after the scandals surfaced. There were also several demonstrations against it. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted for the first time that differences in the African National Congress have led to the country not being able to take appropriate action against the Gupta family allegedly involved in the scandal.
Father was running a spice shop in Saharanpur
The Gupta brothers once spoke in the South African business world. The three brothers Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta and Rajesh Gupta are originally from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The three brothers arrived in South Africa in 1993. The story of a huge business empire of these three brothers in South Africa is quite filmy. You may be surprised to know that his father Shivkumar Gupta used to run a ration shop in Raiwala Market in Ranibazar, Saharanpur. The Gupta brothers’ father was a well-known spice trader in Saharanpur.
Atul Gupta identified the potential in South Africa
The childhood of these three brothers was spent in Saharanpur. Father Shivakumar sent his middle son Atul Gupta to Delhi in 1985 to study. After studying, Atul worked for a few days at the Hyatt Hotel in Delhi and then moved to South Africa. Atul soon realized that South Africa, which was recovering from apartheid, had great potential for trade. Atul Gupta was the first to start a small business here. As the business progressed, Atul also invited his two brothers Ajay and Rajesh to South Africa.
Business started with Sahara Computers
Atul Gupta took the first big step towards building an empire by launching Sahara Computers in South Africa in 1993. Initially the business was very small, but the hard work of all three brought color. And the Gupta brothers’ computer business was spread all over South Africa. Not only that, his company soon became the number one company in South Africa. The Gupta brothers then ventured into coal and gold mining. The Gupta brothers also ventured into the media business and started a newspaper called New Age in South Africa. The Gupta Brothers then became the owners of several news channels in South Africa.
Political relations brought rapid progress
In 1994, Gupta Brothers started the company with 1.4 million rand. After that, over the next three years, the company became 97 million rand. At one point, the three brothers became big names in the South African business world. However, the political affiliations of the Gupta brothers overshadowed the business empire. The Gupta brothers had a very close relationship with former South African President Jacob Zuma.
Thus began the bad days of the Gupta brothers
The Gupta brothers’ bad times began in 2016 when then-Deputy Finance Minister Masobisi Jonas accused the Guptas of promising to make him finance minister. After this, the Gupta brothers were accused of using their relationship with Jacob Zuma to mislead not only to increase business but also to interfere in politics. The controversy escalated to the point that former President Jacob Zuma, once very popular in South Africa, lost his seat because of the brothers.
Tightened the screw and fled to Dubai
After this, the three brothers started tightening the government investigation on the Gupta brothers. In 2018, police raided several Gupta family locations in South Africa. The family was accused of taking advantage of their contacts with the president to obtain a number of government contracts and to interfere in the appointment of ministers. Seeing the screws tightening, the three brothers moved to Dubai and have lived there ever since. Two brothers have now been arrested in the UAE.