New Delhi | The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today attached properties worth 9778 crores belonging to the Sandesaras in connection Sterling biotech case.
According to sources, the probing agency attached Nitin and Chetan Sandesaras properties in London. Earlier Hitesh Patel, an accused in the Rs 8,100-crore bank loan fraud allegedly perpetrated by Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech group, was been detained in Albania on the basis of an Interpol notice issued against him by the ED.
The Sandesara brothers are also stated to be in Albania and on March 19, a Delhi court had allowed the ED to send extradition requests to that country against the two. The ED had told the court that as per reliable sources, the accused — Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Chetankumar Jayantilal Sandesara, both directors of Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) — have obtained the citizenship of Albania and non-bailable warrants (NBW) were issued against them earlier this year. SBL is headquartered in Gujarat’s Vadodara.
The ED has also sought to tag the Sandesara brothers, Chetan Sandesara’s wife Dipti and Patel under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act and had moved a court in Delhi to confiscate all their assets.
The ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation have booked the company, its directors — Sandesara brothers, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, former director Andhra Bank Anup Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.
It is alleged that the company took loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank, which had turned into non-performing assets. The total volume of the alleged loan defraud is pegged at Rs 8,100 crore.
The agency has filed five charge sheets in this case till now and attached properties valued at Rs 4,710 crore. The ED, in this case, had said it is investigating the role of “public officials” for suspected bribery of about Rs 140 crore. The accused are also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior Income Tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.