A fugitive from justice, Ajay Gupta is being looked for by the Hawks.
The Hawks Spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they informed his lawyers that Ajay is a fugitive since they neglected to hand him over to the police.
The Hawks made a public plea to Ajay Gupta to hand himself over to maintain a strategic distance from shame.
“Police understand that he has personal bodyguards and they are being warned to either hand him over or they may confront charges of supporting and abetting the fugitive,” said Malaudzi.
Meanwhile, eight suspects connected to the Estina Dairy Project investigation appear briefly in the Bloemfontein Regional Court on Thursday.
They are facing charges of fraud, robbery (of state assets) and money laundering.
The eight are Peter Thabethe (53), – the Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Free State, Sylvia Dlamini (46), Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Dr Takisi Masiteng (47), General Manager for District Services in the Department of Agriculture, Varun Gupta (31), Ashu Chalwa (46), a Director at Oakbay Investments, Ronica Regavan (40), a Director Oakbay Investments, Nazeem Howa (55), former Director of Oakbay Investments and Kamal Vasram (38), former Director of Estina (PTY) Ltd
They out on bail ranging from R10, 000 to R200, 000 with strict conditions.
The bail conditions include reporting to local police stations twice per week, seizure of their passports, reporting to investigation officer when leaving the area of jurisdiction and not to meddle with any state witnesses.
On Wednesday the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Crime Unit helped by the SAPS National Intervention Unit (NIU) executed warrants of arrests in Gauteng and the Free State which prompted five arrests.
Three suspects Vasrum, Howa and Regavan handed themselves over to the investigating team in Bloemfontein on Thursday morning.
The suspects will appear again on August 17, 2018.