Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate at his residence for the third time in a row in connection with the ongoing money laundering probe against Gujarat-based pharmaceutical company Sterling Biotech.
According to the reports, Ahmed Patel was questioned for 26 hours over the three days in connection with the Rs 14,500 crore Sterling Biotech bank fraud case. He was questioned for over eight hours on Thursday.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ED sleuths had quizzed him for at least ten hours. On June 27, Ahmed Patel was questioned for eight and a half hours for the first time.
During the three days of questioning, Ahmed Patel was grilled for more than 26 hours during which he was asked 128 questions in connection with the money laundering case against Gujarat based Chetan Sandesara and Nitin Sandesara.
Reportedly, Ahmed Patel was confronted with the statements made by the eyewitnesses and suspects in the case. Ahmed Patel was asked about his alleged relationship with Chetan Sandesara and Nitin Sandesara and on the accusations that he was paid a large amount of cash on multiple times at his Delhi residence by the accused Sandesara brothers.
Following the interrogation, Ahmed Patel said that he had answered all the questions he was asked. He added, “They told me that my questioning is over. All the questions were based on the allegations and they do not have any direct evidence against me.”
Targeting the BJP government, Ahmed Patel further said, “It is vendetta and political harassment against me. I don’t know under whose pressure the ED officials are working.”
Ahmed Patel’s alleged connection with the Sandesara case
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel is alleged of having connections with Chetan Sandesara and Nitin Sandesara, who are the prime accused in Sterling Biotech scam, which is much larger than the Punjab National Bank scam involving Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
The Sandesara brothers, who are accused in the bank fraud and money laundering case, are now absconding.
The proof of Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s connection to the Sandesara case had allegedly emerged last year. The sources had said that witnesses in the case named Ahmed Patel, his son Faisal Patel and his son-in-law Irfan Siddique in the investigation by the Enforcement Directorate. The sources have said that Ahmed Patel’s house was named by the witness as the headquarters. They have also, as per sources, said that his son Faisal Patel and son-in-law Irfan Ahmed Siddique received money from Sandesara.
In August last year, the Enforcement Directorate had summoned Faisal Patel, son of Ahmed Patel, in the Sterling Biotech money laundering case. Faisal Patel is being probed by the ED for his links with the Sandesara brothers, the owners of the pharmaceutical company.
Congress leader had skipped interrogation citing ‘coronavirus’
Earlier, the Congress leader had sent a letter to the Enforcement Directorate and had used coronavirus epidemic as an excuse to evade questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 14,000 crore Sandesara scam.
A day before Ahmed Patel was to appear before the ED in June, the Congress leader had written to the ED and has cited the coronavirus pandemic saying, “above 65, please excuse now”. The ED had informed him in reply that they will come to his residence for questioning.