In a massive crackdown by Enforcement Directorate (ED) after the Nirav Modi scam, ED has attached assets worth 4700 crores of rupees of Gujarat-based pharmaceutical company Sterling Biotech Group in connection with a Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud money laundering case.
The agency issued a provisional freezing order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and attached immovable properties of around 4,000 acres, plant and machinery, almost 300 bank accounts, 300 shell companies, shares worth Rs. 6.67 crore, number of luxury cars and multiple other properties of Sandesara group.
This entire 5000 rupees crore scam from the public sector undertaking is linked with the Congress Supremo close aid Ahmad Patel. Although Ahmad Patel has denied saying it as a political vendetta but his name has been surfaced again and again.
Earlier in investigation of the case, one of the Sandesara Group employee Sunil Yadav investigated and interrogated by the ED has admitted that he carried bags of cash to Sonia Gandhi’s closest aide Ahmed Patel’s son-in-law’s house. Yadav has confessed that cash was paid to both the son and son-in-law of Patel as a quid pro quo for grant of loans from public sector banks to tie now-defunct Sterling Biotech.
Yadav was the director in multiple companies which were used for parking, channelising and consuming some part of the funds out of this Rs 5000 crore loan amount. In his statement, Yadav said that he accompanied Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, the now-absconding owner of Sandesara Group, and arrested businessman Gagan Dhawan, allegedly a close aide of Ahmed Patel, to Irfan Siddiqui’s house, sometimes even at midnight. Irfan Siddiqui is the son-in-law of Ahmed Patel. Yadav said that he carried between Rs 15 lakh to 25 lakh in bags on multiple occasions for at least two years between 2009 and 2011.
This is one of the ED’s biggest attachment of assets under the stringent PMLA this year. As per the allegations, Ahmed Patel used his position to influence the public sector banks for granting loan amounts to defaulting company Sterlite whose directors are now absconding.
The ED has claimed that through a set of huge cane of shell companies around 300 shell companies starting from Seychelles to UAE to Mauritius ending up in United States of America Sandesara ’s siphoned off public money of upto 5000 crores.
The probe agencies had alleged that the firm and its absconding promoters, on the basis of false and fabricated documents, had fraudulently obtained credit facilities of more than Rs 5,000 crore from various banks, which subsequently turned into NPAs.The loans were sanctioned by a consortium of banks like the Andhra Bank, UCO Bank, State Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Bank of India. “Till date, the banks have declared as fraud, various outstanding loan accounts to the tune of about Rs 5,000 crore in respect of various companies of Sterling Group including Sterling Biotech Ltd, Sterling Port Ltd, PMT Machines Ltd., Sterling SEZ and Infrastructure Ltd and Sterling Oil Resources Ltd,” the ED said.
In this case, the ED has so far arrested three persons, including Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan, Anup Garg Ex-Director of the Andhra Bank (Chartered Accountant) and Rajbhushan Dixit, director of Sterling Biotech. The ED has also filed multiple charge-sheets.
Source :Times Now