Ajay on the Hawks' most wanted list


But the Mail and Guardian said at the time "the new information strongly suggests that the Guptas, who are close to Free State premier Ace Magashule and employ his son, have played an active behind-the-scenes role in the dairy project."The Gupta family has always denied any wrongdoing".

Three of the accused are government employees while one is a Gupta family member and the others are Gupta associates.

Officers have described what it is like inside the luxurious Gupta home in Saxonwold‚ Johannesburg‚ which the Hawks targeted on Wednesday morning as part of the elite unit's investigation into state capture.

The project was meant to be a lifeline to indigent farmers but saw millions of rand allegedly siphoned off to the Guptas.

"I can not confirm if Mr Ajay Gupta is back in the country; he may well be back in the country through another port of entry", Gunkel-Keuler said.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) have confirmed that they are searching for Ajay Gupta after his lawyers failed to hand him over this week.

As such, the site of some post-arrest action is likely to be in the Free State, where the controversial Vrede dairy farm is situated, with forthcoming court appearances potentially in Bloemfontein.

The brothers were among the five people arrested in connection with the Estina matter.

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Investigations are ongoing and more arrests are expected throughout the day.

According to the charge sheet, the accused face 12 counts, including theft, fraud, conspiracy to commit theft and fraud.

Duduzane's property is located two blocks from the Guptas' compound in the upmarket residential area of Johannesburg known as Saxonworld.

Former Free State agriculture head Peter Thabethe was arrested on Wednesday after a an early morning raid at his home in Bloemfontein.

The #GuptaLeaks revealed a year ago that at least R30-million paid to the Guptas via the farm ended up funding the family's lavish Sun City wedding in 2013 - but this did not form part of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's probe. She said the contract clearly benefited Estina at the cost of the state, taxpayers and the beneficiaries.

One of those feeling the heat most acutely as the Hawks move in must be Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who personally championed the Vrede project in his erstwhile capacity as Free State agriculture MEC.

Corruption Watch agreed, saying those implicated in multiple corruption scandals must be held accountable and brought to justice.