JOHANNESBURG – The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) has sanctioned the Gupta family over leveraged overpayments on the South African government contracts, bribery, and other corrupt acts to fund political contributions and influence government actions.
The Ofac said it specifically designated Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, and Salim Essa for their involvement in corruption in South Africa pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
“The Gupta family leveraged its political connections to engage in widespread corruption and bribery, capture government contracts, and misappropriate state assets.
"The Treasury’s designation targets the Guptas’ pay-to-play political patronage, which was orchestrated at the expense of the South African people,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
“The Guptas and Essa have used their influence with prominent politicians and parties to line their pockets with ill-gotten gains. We will continue to exclude from the US financial system those who profit from corruption.”
The Department said it supported the anti-corruption efforts of South Africa’s independent judiciary, law enforcement agencies, and the ongoing judicial commissions of inquiry.
“Moreover, we commend the extraordinary work by South Africa’s civil society activists, investigative journalists, and whistle-blowers, who have exposed the breadth and depth of the Gupta family’s corruption.”it said.
The family left South Africa for the United Arab Emirates after former President Jacob Zuma fell from power.