A team of Enforcement Directorate reached the residence of Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmad Patel for questioning in the Sandesara brothers money laundering case on Saturday.
As per reports, the three-member team visited Patel’s home at 23, Mother Teresa Crescent in central Delhi and recorded his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The Enforcement Directorate had summoned the Congress leader twice but Ahmad Patel cited the coronavirus pandemic and his age as a reason to stay inside and avoided the interrogation in the case.
The agency later agreed on his request and informed him that the officers will be sent at his residence for interrogation.
Ahmad Patel made health issues an excuse to evade interrogation
Making excuses like this to evade summons has emerged as a regular pattern with the Congress leader. Prior to this when Ahmed Patel was summoned for questioning by the Income Tax Department in connection with the investigation into the case of hawala and cash transactions worth Rs 400 crore reaching the Congress party office, the senior Congress leader did not appear for questioning claiming that he was unwell. He had then complained about breathing distress and got himself admitted to the Metro Hospital in Faridabad, Haryana.
As per reports, Patel was summoned as the treasurer of the All India Congress Committee.
However, Ahmed Patel’s son – Faisel Patel and his son-in-law – Irfan Siddiqui who have been interrogated by the agency earlier have confessed that they knew Chetan Sandesara – younger brother of the Sterling Biotech Ltd Director – Nitin Sandesara.
Sterling Biotech-Sandesara scam
Sterling Biotech is under investigation as it had taken a loan worth Rs. 5,000 crores from a consortium of banks including Andhra Bank, but the loan has turned into a non-performing asset.
As per the charge sheet filed in the case, owners of Sterling Group, Nitin Sandesara and Chetan Sandesara, had floated close to 300 shell companies to fraudulently move and layer the loan money abroad.
During the probe, the ED found the group’s links with Ahmed Patel. Several persons questioned by ED in relation to the case had revealed the involvement of Ahmed Patel, his son, Faisal Patel, and his son-in-law, Irfan Siddiqui in the scam.
Sunil Yadav, an employee of the Sandesara group, had said that he had handed over cash to Faisal Patel’s chauffeur and that the cash was to be delivered to Ahmed Patel’s son on behalf of Chetan Sandesara.
The CBI had booked Sterling Biotech, its directors and senior officials, and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case. The FIR alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.