CBI asks Interpol Nigeria to help trace Sterling Biotech directors

New Delhi, Sep 25 : The CBI has written to the Interpol in Nigeria seeking the whereabouts of Chetan and Nitin Sandesara, directors of the Gujarat-based pharma company Sterling Biotech in connection with an over Rs 5,000-crore bank fraud case.

A senior official of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told IANS that it has written to the Interpol unit in Nigeria to share details on whereabouts of Nitin and Chetan Sandesara and his family members in that country.

According to the agency source, the CBI wrote to the Interpol in Nigeria late on Monday.

The CBI official made the revelation amid media reports that Nitin and Chetan Sandesara, along with his family members, had fled to the African nation.

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 Rs 5,000 crore loans from a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank during the years 2004 to 2012, which had turned into non-performing assets.

The total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

Meanwhile, a source in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said the agency is set to file a chargesheet against the accused soon under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The source also said that the agency would also write to the Interpol seeking a red corner notice (RCN) against the accused.

The ED had initiated a money laundering probe into the case taking cognizance of the CBI FIR.

On January 13, the ED had arrested Garg.

The agency also arrested a Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in connection with the case in November last year.

Besides, the Directorate also attached properties worth Rs 4,703 crore.

The ED had issued lookout circulars against the accused in August 2017.



Source: IANS