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Gupta Family Has Been Blacklisted By US Treasury


The Gupta family was officially sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on 10 October 2019.

Treasury sanctioned Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh Gupta, and Salim Essa. They called them “a significant corruption network in South Africa.”

OFAC sanctioned the four men due to their illegal actions in South Africa. Treasury stated how the men had “leveraged overpayments on government contracts, bribery, and other corrupt acts to fund political contributions and influence government actions.”

Gupta family sanctioned for corruption

The United States also noted their involvement in corruption in South Africa. The country also lodged the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act against the four men.

Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, explained further saying:

“The Gupta family leveraged its political connections to engage in widespread corruption and bribery, capture government contracts, and misappropriate state assets. Treasury’s designation targets the Guptas’ pay-to-play political patronage, which was orchestrated at the expense of the South African people.”

 Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence

Mandelker added:

“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 U.S. financial system those who profit from corruption.”

 Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence

United States Treasury shows support to South Africa

Treasury explained that the sanctions were meant to demonstrate the United State government’s “unwavering commitment to supporting the rule of law and accountability in South Africa.”

They revealed that they supported South Africa’s anti-corruption efforts. The United States also said they stood with South Africa’s independent judiciary, law enforcement agencies, and the ongoing judicial commissions of inquiry. 

Treasury added:

“Moreover, we commend the extraordinary work by South Africa’s civil society activists, investigative journalists, and whistleblowers, who have exposed the breadth and depth of the Gupta family’s corruption.”

 United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

How the Gupta family got involved in corruption

In the 1990s, Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh all immigrated to South Africa. Treasury shared that the family’s business practices quickly grew due, in large part, to their donations to an unnamed political party.

The United States also noted how their business growth was also attributed to their reportedly close relationship with former South African President Jacob Zuma. The Gupta family has also been implicated in allegedly stealing hundreds of millions of dollars through illegal deals with the South African government. 

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