Dubai: The Gupta family who fled South Africa soon after state capture claims surfaced hosted another lavish wedding.
The controversial family wedding is said to have cost about R100-million – at the luxurious five-star Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The nine-page wedding invitation obtained by amaBhungane earlier this year revealed a five-day event that began with a welcoming lunch on Tuesday, February 19 and ended with a wedding reception on Saturday, February 23.
A Bollywood-style wedding video made waves the past few days showing off the grandeur and lavish affair. Among the guests & entertainment included Bollywood celebrities Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ranveer Singh.
New Delhi-based Isha Films produced the four-minute “teaser” video, titled: “Destination Wedding in Abu Dhabi | Big Fat Indian wedding in Emirates Palace”.
The video shows opulent decorations and flower arrangements, exquisite Indian couture and jewellery, pyrotechnics, a multitude of live-music and dance acts, and the requisite Rolls Royce arrival.
A beaming Tony Gupta features several times – without apparently a care despite being at the centre of state capture allegations in South Africa.
- The video was removed from YouTube after the story was published. Here is a copy of the video if you have not seen it.
This is the third publicly lavish wedding the family has funded.
The Gupta family shot to prominence in 2013 when the three brothers’ niece, Vega Gupta, got married at Sun City.
Although the wedding was intended as a display of the Gupta family’s wealth and powerful connections, it also exposed the underbelly of those relations when the family was given permission to land a plane full of guests at the Waterkloof air force base.
The #GuptaLeaks would later provide evidence of how R30-million from the provincial government-funded Estina dairy project in the Free State was laundered through a series of bank accounts in the UAE to pay for the wedding.
Eight people, including the bride’s brother Varun Gupta, were charged in relation to the Estina case last year but the charges were provisionally withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority in November.
The second lavish Gupta wedding was held in April 2016 at the Mardan Palace in Antalya, Turkey.
The three-day wedding of Ajay Gupta’s son Kamal Singhala was estimated by one publication to have cost €10-million (R154-million now) and took place barely two weeks after most of the family hurriedly left South Africa aboard their private jet on a late-night flight out of Lanseria airport.
Sources: Youtube, Amabhungane