For most people, $52 million is an astronomical amount of money to borrow. But a Canadian bank approved a loan for that amount for a controversial South African family.
They used it to buy a luxury jet — which is now missing.
The jet belongs to the Gupta family, known for their ties to former South African president Jacob Zuma.Earlier On HuffPost:
Export Development Canada (EDC), a credit agency owned by the Canadian government, helped Bombardier seal the deal, lending the Guptas the money for their Global 6000 jet, according to The Washington Post.
The family defaulted on the loan last October and still owe EDC over $34 million.
They've long been accused of trying to "capture the state" for their business interests, according to BBC News. Their alleged corruption contributed to scandals that forced Zuma to resign in February.
There's an arrest warrant out for one of the famiy's members, Anjay Gupta, Global News reported.
EDC seems aware the jet will likely be used to help Gupta evade the law as they've applied to a South African court for permission to ground the plane.
The only problem is that the bank can't find the plane, which is registered with the letters ZS-OAK on its tail.
FlightAware, which tracks the locations of planes around the world, notes the jet's status is unknown. It also explains the plane's owner has asked for it to not be tracked through the public database.
Canadians shouldn't worry
The bank told Global News that they would not comment about the missing plane because legal proceedings to find it are ongoing.
An international agreement stipulates lenders can seize a plane in any country that is part of the Cape Town Treaty. Still, Canadians shouldn't be too concerned about footing the bill for the aircraft.
A Toronto aviation lawyer told the Washington Post, "I don't think the Canadian taxpayer is going to get bilked, unless the aircraft has been otherwise disposed of."