The South African businessman who confronted Ajay Gupta outside the Indian Consulate in Dubai last week has reportedly been arrested.
Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said Justin van Pletzen’s family phoned Dirco on Tuesday afternoon.
“According to his family‚ he has been arrested. They say he has informed them that he is in police custody.”
The reason for Van Pletzen’s arrest remains unknown.
“We have no reason not to believe the parents here in South Africa. That is why we have dispatched our ambassador and staff.”
Dirco contacted the South African embassy in Dubai to confirm Van Pletzen’s arrest. Mabaya said on Tuesday evening that the department was expecting more information from the South African embassy in Dubai in the next few hours.
A family member confirmed Van Pletzen’s arrest.
Van Pletzen confronted Ajay Gupta outside the Indian consulate in Dubai on Wednesday as part of a R300 bet.
He said if it wasn’t for the strict laws in Dubai he would have “tackled his head off his shoulders”
The 39-year-old father of two‚ who has been in the United Arab Emirates city since 2016‚ said he could hardly believe it when he called Ajay’s name‚ and the man came walking over to him – even shaking his hand.
“I wanted to tackle the head off his shoulders. But then I saw the bodyguard behind him and I thought to myself: If you tackle him you are going to get into big trouble‚ probably going to lose your job‚ probably going to go to jail. And I thought‚ just ask him the question. Ask him when he is going home to go face the music.”
Ajay Gupta is considered by the Hawks to be a fugitive from justice after failing to hand himself over to authorities in February.
The Gupta family are also in trouble with tax authorities in their home country of India and have missed several deadlines to appear before tax authorities.