Ajay Gupta. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/MARTIN RHODES
Ajay Gupta. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/MARTIN RHODES

Ajay Gupta is reportedly undertaking a religious pilgrimage with members of his family in India.

eNCA and SABC reported on Monday that Gupta — who is regarded as a wanted fugitive by authorities in South Africa — was in India.

"I have just been speaking to a close family friend of the Gupta brothers and he has confirmed that Ajay Gupta is now in fact in Saharanpur‚" eNCA correspondent Rebecca Bundhun told the broadcaster.

Gupta‚ who reportedly stayed at a hotel in New Delhi at the weekend‚ said in a media interview that he was being targeted because of politics and denied any wrongdoing‚ particularly in India where tax authorities have raided properties owned by the Gupta brothers.

"They are here specifically for a pilgrimage. They are going to a holy town … around the foothills of the Himalayas. There is a temple that they want to go to on this pilgrimage‚" said Bundhun.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told the SABC that law enforcement agencies were "working hard" to return the Gupta brothers to SA.

"We are working with the Hawks‚ the police and the prosecutors‚ the NDPP‚ in order to bring them back to the country to face their charges‚" he said.

SA has an extradition agreement with India.

Varun Gupta‚ a nephew of the Gupta brothers who is an accused in the Estina dairy project case‚ was given permission last week by the Bloemfontein Regional Court to travel to India.

Times Select reported on Monday that the Gupta family‚ through its network of companies‚ had "stripped" its largest mining asset of at least R3-billion in cash from profits over two years. The money was allegedly spirited out of the country.

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