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R37.7m Estina farm fraud case against Gupta buddies will be commencing next month

The R37.7m Estina project fraud case against Kamal Vasram and Saliesh Indurjeeth has now been transferred to the Pretoria magistrate’s court for commencement on March 9.

In a statement issued on Friday, February 11, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the case against Kamal Vasram and Saliesh Indurjeeth begins on March 9.

The two men face charges of fraud, Contravention of section 54(1)(A) of the International Trade Administration Act and Contravention of regulation 22 of the Exchange Control Act — charges arising from a joint investigation by the SA Revenue Service and the Investigating Directorate, in connection with the failed Free State Estina project.

Reports coming from the NPA have it that the matter was postponed for the disclosure of the case docket and their attorneys’ financial instructions together with instructions on the merits of the case.

“The investigation revealed that Estina submitted customs clearance documents (SAD 500 and invoice) in support of a VAT refund claim. The customs declaration was then scrutinised, after which the declared value of over R37.7m for a so-called ‘new’ pasteurisation plant was suspected to be excessively high,” the NPA said.

Others arrested concerning the fraud case include ex-department officials and Gupta family associate and businessman Iqbal Sharma.

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