Atul Gupta challenges freezing of R10m


FILE image of billionaire businessman and newspaper publisher Atul Gupta at the New Age offices in Midrand, 20 January 2011.

• Editor&39;s note: This is a developing story. We will bring you updates as more information becomes available.

JOHANNESBURG - Atul Gupta is challenging the freezing of R10-million in his personal bank account.

The asset forfeiture unit said the money was paid from the Estina Dairy project.

Gupta slammed the NPA as "dishonest", claiming there&39;s no evidence he received Estina money.

He stated in court papers that he is "out of the country".

The Gupta brother failed to present himself to court on Thursday after the Hawks alerted his attorneys on Tuesday and Wednesday that he was being sought on corruption charges.

Atul’s brother Ajay is currently being sought by police.

Over the weekend, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said the search for fugitive Ajay Gupta and two other people is going global as officials are looking for the three in China, Dubai and India.

Last week, seven people accused in the Estina dairy project appeared in the Bloemfontein regional court. They were granted bail with the case being postponed to 17 August.

They face charges linked to the R220-million Estina Dairy project scandal.

The Estina project allegedly saw hundreds of millions of rand meant for poor black farmers, being redirected to Gupta family and business bank accounts.