Dubai: Two expatriates have been arrested in Dubai for posting a video of a South African businessman of Indian origin who, they claimed, was a fugitive in South Africa.
The two South African expatriates, who posted the video of businessman Ajay Gupta on social media were arrested on charges of invasion of privacy, police confirmed to Gulf News.
Businessman Justin Van Pletzen had posted the video of confronting Ajay Gupta, one of the three Gupta brothers accused of links to former South African President Jacob Zuma, in Dubai on April 4.
Reports in South African media said Van Pletzen, 39, who has been living in the UAE since 2016, was arrested after the video went viral.
Brigadier Ahmad Bin Gulaitha, Director of Rafaa police station, said they arrested two men and a woman who stopped the businessman to speak with him and took videos of him beside his luxury car.
“They posted the video without his approval and claimed that he is a scam artist and wanted in his country. We don’t have any international arrest warrant for the South African businessman,” Brigadier Bin Gulaitha said.
He said the suspects breached the privacy of the businessman by posting the video on social networks.
“He was in Rafaa area when his countryman started a friendly conversation and lured him for a video of him beside his luxury car, while a second man and a woman recorded the man and his car. Within a few hours the video went viral.”
Pletzen, posted the video claiming that Gupta was leading a luxury life in Dubai despite being a fugitive in South Africa and urged his government to take action against him.
“The victim made official complaint against all the people involved in making the video and we arrested them. The woman was cleared and the two men were referred to public prosecution after charging them with luring the victim to be filmed with them in front of his car and then uploading the clip on social media and posting defamatory comments,” Brigadier Bin Gulaitha added.
UAE laws on privacy
He said in the UAE it is not allowed for anyone to take pictures or video of others without his or her permission and then post it on internet.
“UAE has laws that criminalise using the internet to breach the privacy or to defame others. Even recording a fight or an accident and posting it on social networks can land the person in trouble as per the Cyber Crime law,” Brigadier Bin Gulaitha added.
Consul General of South Africa in Dubai Magobo David Magabe told Gulf News: “I can confirm that one of our expats was taken into custody by the police and the charges are related to invasion of privacy.”
He said the consulate officials had visited Justin Van Pletzen and were providing consular services to him.
“We need to establish the nationality of the other person to provide our services,” he added.
Indian Consulate not filmed
South African media reports had claimed that the viral video posted by Pletzen was taken outside the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
However, Gulf News could verify that it was shot outside Business Atrium Centre in Oud Metha where IVS Global, the outsourced agency for providing document attestation services to the Indian mission, is located.
Sources told Gulf News that Gupta, who is reportedly also wanted by tax authorities in India on charges of money laundering and tax evasion, had indeed visited the agency’s office on April 4.
Gupta holds an Indian passport issued in Johannesburg and visited the IVS office for attesting some court papers to be sent to India, sources said.
When contacted, Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul, said: “We have no information that he had come to our consulate. But if he has gone to one of our outsourced agencies, we will have to find out whether he has sought any service and what it is.”