Two of the Gupta brothers, Rajesh and Atul, have been arrested in the United Arab Emirates, a statement from the Department of Justice confirmed late on Monday night.
The Gupta brothers fled South Africa in 2016 amid pressure for their arrest.
The family fled South Africa after allegations they were involved in grandscale looting, also characterised as State Capture.
In July last year, Interpol also issued a red notice for their arrest, former Investigating Directorate head Hermione Cronje confirmed at the time.
Although a red notice is not necessarily an arrest warranty, it allows Interpol member states to negotiate the extradition of wanted criminals from another state.
In a short statement on Monday night, the Ministry of Justice confirmed the arrest of the Gupta brothers.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola’s spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said: “The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services confirms that it has received information from law enforcement authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that fugitives of justice, namely, Rajesh and Atul Gupta have been arrested.
“Discussions between various law enforcement agencies in the UAE and South Africa on the way forward are ongoing. The South African government will continue to co-operate with the UAE,” he said.
The Gupta brothers were also fingered as central figures in the State Capture project. Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s report found that the Guptas used their close relationship with former president Jacob Zuma to score lucrative deals with the power utility Eskom.
Zondo said in the State Capture report: “The evidence proves a scheme by the Guptas to capture Eskom, install the Guptas' selected officials in strategic positions within Eskom as members of the board, the committees of the board and the executives and then divert Eskom's assets to the Guptas' financial advantage.
“Central to the Guptas’ scheme of state capture was President Zuma, who the Guptas must have identified at a very early stage as somebody whose character was such that they could use him against the people of SA, his own country and his own government to advance their own business interests — and President Zuma readily opened the doors for the Guptas to go into the SOEs and help themselves to the money and assets of the people of SA.”