Bizjet At Center of International Dragnet
An international game of cat and mouse has the Canadian government pitted against a wealthy South African family at the center of a political corruption scandal and the disappearance of their luxury business jet. Now Canada’s state-owned Export Development Bank is trying to repossess the 2014 Bombardier Global 6000 saying it's owed $27 million of the original $40 million loan it provided the Gupta family to buy the jet. There are also allegations the aircraft, with a registration of ZS-OAK, has been used as a getaway vehicle for Gupta family members. “There is a very real concern that the aircraft may be used to escape justice or for some unlawful means,” the bank wrote in an application to the South African court seeking to ground the airplane.
That would appear to be a formality since no one seems to know where the big bizjet is. The tail number has been hidden on FlightAware and the bank is hoping someone will spot the aircraft and let them know. It was last seen a few weeks ago in Russia, Dubai and India according to the Washington Post. The Guptas, whose empire includes media, mining and machinery, have been implicated in wide-ranging corruption involving former South African President Jacob Zuma, who was forced to resign in the scandal. An arrest warrant is still outstanding for one of three brothers, Anjay Gupta. When the jet turns up, it’s likely the bank will be able to seize it because most countries are party to international agreements that allow creditors to claim goods from clients who are in default. The bank says the Guptas haven’t made a payment since October of 2017.