CBI clueless on whereabouts of Sandesaras accused in ₹5,000 crore bank fraud

Central Bureau of Investigation said it has no information about Chetan and Nitin Sandesara, directors of Gujarat-based pharma company Sterling Biotech, wanted in an alleged ₹5,000 crore bank fraud

CBI clueless on whereabouts of Sandesaras accused in ₹5,000 crore bank fraud

IANS

Amid media reports that Chetan and Nitin Sandesara, both directors of Gujarat based pharma company Sterling Biotech and wanted in an over ₹5,000 crore bank fraud case may have fled the country, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday, September 24 said that it has "no information" about their whereabouts.

The agency's official's remark came soon after media reports said that Chetan and Nitin could have fled to Nigeria with their families.

The CBI had booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, former Director of Andhra Bank Anup Prakash Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud in October 2017.

According to the CBI FIR, Sterling Biotech had taken over ₹5,000 crore loans from a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank, which had turned into non-performing assets. The total pending dues of the group companies were ₹5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

The CBI had booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, former Director of Andhra Bank Anup Prakash Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud in October 2017

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) initiated a money laundering probe into the case taking cognisance of the CBI FIR. On January 13, the ED arrested Garg. The agency also arrested a Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in connection with the case in November last year. The ED also attached properties worth ₹4,703 crore.

The ED in a statement said that the loans to the tune of ₹5,000 crore was disbursed by the various banks during the years 2004-2012. It also said that the look-out circulars against the accused were opened in August 2017.

The ED also said that it was finding more properties.

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