Trouble mounts for Sterling Biotech as ED attaches its assets worth 4700 crores

Nitin Sandesara, one of the promoters of Sterling Biotech and the key accused in the multi-crore fraud case, is reportedly known as a close aide of Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday attached 4700 crores worth of assets belonging to the Sterling Biotech. The ED has been probing the alleged Rs 8,100-crore bank loan fraud case against the promoters of the Gujarat-based group.

The properties, located in places like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi and others areas, included movable and immovable assets of Sterling Biotech, PMT Machines, Sterling Port and Sterling SEZ Infra.

Earlier we had reported that the Enforcement Directorate had moved to a special court seeking to get the owners of Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech group declared fugitive economic offenders under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018.

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The central agency has filed a plea before a special court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), seeking to declare Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara, Dipti Sandesara and Hitesh Patel fugitives under Section 4 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. ED seeks to attach their assets in India and abroad.

It’s worthy to note here that the ED had made similar pleas, under the new fugitive law, against Vijay Mallya and diamond jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in separate bank loan money laundering probes.

Nitin Sandesara was apprehended by the Dubai police in August. He is reportedly known as a close aide of Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

After the ED had decided to tighten the noose on the Sandesara family in their alleged involvement in the massive bank fraud, names of Congress leader Ahmed Patel, his son, Faisal Patel, and his son-in-law, Irfan Siddiqui, had surfaced for their alleged involvement in the same.

Meanwhile, all the four promoters of Sterling group namely Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara, Dipti Sandesara and Hitesh Patel had fled the country fearing a criminal probe in this multi-crore fraud case. “The Directorate has sought confiscation of their properties in India and abroad,” said the agency.

ED is also in the process to issue Red Corner Notices against these four offenders. Extradition requests shall be sent shortly to bring back the accused to India to face the trial proceedings.

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