Canadian bank’s application to ground Gupta jet expected to be heard on Tuesday – rep

schumi

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Johannesburg – An application by Export Development Canada (EDC), the country’s state-owned export-import bank to ground a plane being used by the Gupta family is expected to be heard in Johannesburg this week, the Washington Post reported.

Concerning Ajay Gupta being declared a fugitive, the EDC reportedly argued in its court papers that there was a concern that the aircraft may be used to escape justice or for some other unlawful means.

The family bought the aircraft with help from a $41m loan from the EDC. They have reportedly defaulted on that loan.

The family's lawyer Ahmed Gani declined to comment to News24 on the application, and the UK branch of law firm Jones Day, who are apparently representing the family in the case involving the jet, could not be immediately reached for comment.

News24 reported in February that the Bombardier Global 6 000 business aircraft registered as ZS-OAK, had landed in Russia. Following this, the plane could no longer be tracked on publicly assessible flight tracker websites and apps.

The plane previously flew from Dubai to Zurich on December 13, where it remained for six days before taking a 36-minute hop to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg in Switzerland.

There the plane stayed put for more than a month before taking to the skies again on January 25.

It was widely reported in December that the Guptas had fallen behind in their scheduled repayments on the loan from EDC that financed ZS-OAK, and that the plane was grounded.

It also isn't clear if the Guptas were able to make a payment leading to the release of the aircraft, after that but Phil Taylor from the EDC told News24 at the time that the legal proceedings they have against the Guptas are still proceeding.

"Our position has not changed," said Taylor.

News24 reported in February that the Hawks were searching for Ajay. It is believed he has left the country.

However, his brother Atul was in Dubai in February when he signed the affidavit that forms part of his application to have a preservation order obtained against him, by the NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), set aside.

The Free State High Court in January put the Krynaauwslust farm near Vrede in the Free State under curatorship.

News24 reported at the time that the order reveals that the Free State's agricultural department - under then agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane - paid R220m to the Guptas in what the AFU calls a "scheme designed to defraud and steal monies from the department".

News24
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/...pected-to-be-heard-on-tuesday-report-20180304
 

Gordon_R

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A few more details in this article, originally from the Washington Post: https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics...-jet-now-the-luxury-plane-is-missing-13608755

Ehsan Monfared, a Toronto aviation lawyer, says that the case is unusual. Most people or entities who buy business jets of that size and value don't have credit issues, and banks like EDC make sure they're well protected. EDC, for its part, insists it performed due diligence on the Guptas.
The good news for EDC is that it's likely to get the plane back eventually. Under an international agreement called the Cape Town Treaty, Monfared said, lenders have the right to seize a plane in any country that's part of the pact. "I don't think the Canadian taxpayer is going to get bilked, unless the aircraft has been otherwise disposed of," he said.
I suggested (elsewhere) that the aircraft might have been sold to some dodgy Russian, and getting it back may not be easy...
 

blunomore

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The plane previously flew from Dubai to Zurich on December 13, where it remained for six days before taking a 36-minute hop to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg in Switzerland.
Are we assuming this travel is somehow related to Swiss bank accounts?
 

Nerfherder

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A few more details in this article, originally from the Washington Post: https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics...-jet-now-the-luxury-plane-is-missing-13608755





I suggested (elsewhere) that the aircraft might have been sold to some dodgy Russian, and getting it back may not be easy...
Remember they managed to land one of their private aircraft at a national keypoint location, a military base. Who knows what they will pull out of the bag now.

Its all starting to get quite interesting.... anyone read Tintin ?

tintin.jpg
 

Ricard

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Remember they managed to land one of their private aircraft at a national keypoint location, a military base. Who knows what they will pull out of the bag now.

Its all starting to get quite interesting.... anyone read Tintin ?

View attachment 504691
If the Guptas want to maintain their innocence, then selling the plane off to a dodgy place is a confirmation of Guilt...
 

Nerfherder

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If the Guptas want to maintain their innocence, then selling the plane off to a dodgy place is a confirmation of Guilt...
I think they just want to get to their secret hideout, under a volcano on a island somewhere.
 

Gordon_R

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Lengthy updates from court proceedings: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/...id-to-ground-gupta-jet-back-in-court-20180309

17:45
Judgment has been reserved.
16:18
Bhana says the applicants can't think away the fact that the matter is already in another court. Bhana says it would've been more convenient to go to another court.
15:01
Cook says one of the other issues being raised is that they are a flight risk. He says it's nonsense, because you can't talk about flight risk if the plane is out of the country. "If the plane is not here, it is inadmissible."
14:47
Judge Kathree-Setiloane asks why the resistance to ground the aircraft? Cook says the last thing you want to do is ground an airplane and put it in a hangar. Says it will depreciate quicker.

Judge Kathree-Setiloane disputes Cook's assertion and makes comparisons between the aircraft and motor vehicles being left in storage and properly maintained.
14:44
Adv Owen Cook: it seems one of the brothers is not in SA, so he doesn't need the aircraft.

Judge Kathree-Setiloane jokes: Unless it's dropped him off wherever he is.

— POWER987News
14:03
Cook said it was ironic that the EDC would refer to reputational damage. He reads from a newspaper article referring to the Gupta family and their controversy, as well as EDC's controversies of loaning money to scandal-ridden individuals around the world.
13:58
EDC entered into the agreement during April of 2015, and that was exactly two years after the controversial Waterkloof landing and the infamous Gupta wedding.

13:57
Cook says there's a great irony in the approach adopted by the applicants, particularly the EDC.
12:47
Cockrell says his clients wants the court to make a decision to direct the plane to Lanseria or an airport in the UK - in the first instance, to the airport in the UK.

The Guptas will just have to bear the costs of returning the airplane to either airport, and thereafter lose all rights to the airplane.
12:30
The tracking device is there, Cockrell says. "The question we're asking is why have they switched off the tracking device and they don't answer that... The inference my client is making, is that they have switched off the tracking device for unlawful purposes," Cockrell says.

12:29
Cockrell on the aircraft being used by the Guptas: "The public tracker has been switched off."

Cockrell says the Guptas have said it's not unreasonable to switch off the tracking system. But they give no reason why they say that. From his client's perspective, it places them in a position to suffer damages.
 
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ambroseg1

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Why are the lawyers arguing reputational damage and such crap? Loan has been defaulted. Property must be returned. End of story no? This isn't their only RDP home and if they are kicked out they will live on the streets and be raped and tortured. This is a luxury damn plane.
 

Gordon_R

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Why are the lawyers arguing reputational damage and such crap? Loan has been defaulted. Property must be returned. End of story no? This isn't their only RDP home and if they are kicked out they will live on the streets and be raped and tortured. This is a luxury damn plane.
I don't know the details, but it is possible the plane was not listed as surety, or there are jurisdictional issues, with the bank being based in Canada and the company in SA. This specific case revolves around urgency and (permanent) seizure of an asset. Lawyers can play games for years in this sort of situation...
 

ambroseg1

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I don't know the details, but it is possible the plane was not listed as surety, or there are jurisdictional issues, with the bank being based in Canada and the company in SA. This specific case revolves around urgency and (permanent) seizure of an asset. Lawyers can play games for years in this sort of situation...
Unbelievable that EDC would not do due diligence and make sure something like a plane can be returned if defaulted on by hundreds of clauses in the loan contract. Suppose they have themselves to blame.
 

Gordon_R

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Unbelievable that EDC would not do due diligence and make sure something like a plane can be returned if defaulted on by hundreds of clauses in the loan contract. Suppose they have themselves to blame.
Canadian taxpayers are probably asking similar questions. Bombardier are also linked to the Guptas via dodgy Prasa locomotive deals: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/rep...s-with-notorious-guptafamily/article38230152/

Lots of details about how desperate they were for the sale to go through:

The Globe and Mail reported last year that Bombardier sold the airplane to the Guptas for US$52-million, nearly 20 per cent below the list price. The Canadian company first offered the discount to the Guptas in February, 2014, just a month before the locomotive deal was announced. Bombardier says the two deals are not connected. It also says the discount was a normal practice in the business-aircraft market.

Leaked e-mails obtained by The Globe show that a vice-president in Bombardier's aircraft division, Trevor Lambarth, flew to Johannesburg and visited Ajay Gupta in early 2014.

Shortly after the meeting, a Bombardier sales director contacted the Guptas to offer them a Global 6000, the company's top-of-the-line corporate jet. He promised to help them secure "the best-priced Global in the market."

In an e-mail to Ajay Gupta on Feb. 18, 2014, Mr. Lambarth laid out the terms of Bombardier's aircraft offer. In addition to the discounted price, he offered two credit memos, worth US$1.35-million, and free training sessions for the jet's pilots.

Perhaps most crucially, he assured Ajay Gupta that there were "suitable finance offers" to ensure that the Guptas would not need to provide cash for most of the purchase price. Bombardier then persuaded the federal government's export bank, Export Development Canada (EDC), to provide a loan to the Guptas for 80 per cent of the jet's price.

Bombardier, however, was interested in more than just aircraft business with the Guptas. At the end of his e-mail, Mr. Lambarth suggested Bombardier could co-operate with the Guptas in the infrastructure sector if the jet deal was completed. "We hope that a successful conclusion will lead to further opportunities for our organizations to explore working together, whether on infrastructure or aviation-related business," he told Ajay Gupta.
Almost exactly a month later, on March 17, 2014, Transnet announced that Bombardier would receive one-quarter of one of the biggest infrastructure contracts in South Africa's post-apartheid history: a US$5-billion contract to supply 1,064 locomotives. The contract was partly financed with a US$450-million loan from Export Development Canada.

The price of the locomotive contract was dramatically larger than earlier estimates. The contract – which was divided among Bombardier, General Electric and two Chinese companies – was almost 40 per cent more expensive than the amount recommended by an independent consultant, McKinsey & Co., just a few months earlier.

Asked about the price increase, a Bombardier spokesman said the locomotive price was adjusted purely because of "commercial conditions" Transnet imposed.

South African media, citing leaked e-mails from the Guptas, have reported that a Gupta-linked company received about US$320-million in "consulting fees" as part of a Chinese company's share of the locomotive deal. These fees amounted to 20 per cent of the value of the Chinese share of the contract, the reports say.

Investigations by South African media and independent inquiries have documented how Transnet had fallen under the heavy influence of the Guptas by 2014. At the time of the locomotive contract, the Guptas enjoyed substantial power over Transnet through their allies on the company's board of directors and the highest ranks of its management.

Brian Molefe, a prominent friend of the Guptas, was appointed as Transnet's chief executive officer in 2011. He remained at Transnet until March of 2015, when he moved to a similar job at Eskom, the state-owned electricity monopoly.
Lots more, worth reading...

P.S. I didn't realise how expensive these private jets are, almost 2/3 the price of an A320 180-seat passenger jet...
 
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