The Enforcement Directorate (ED), under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, on Friday attached several movable and immovable properties of Sterling Biotech Group. The action was taken in view of the bank fraud case registered against them.

As per the release by the ED the properties attached is to the tune of Rs. 4701 Crores in connection with a money laundering investigation of Rs 5,000 Crores in a bank fraud case registered by the CBI, BS&FC, New Delhi involving M/s Sterling Biotech Ltd., its promoters Nitin Sandesara & Chetan Sandesara, and others. The ED had registered a case of money laundering against the company, its promoters and others in October 2017.

The release further states that the attached assets include immovable properties of around 4,000 Acres in total, plant machinery, around 200 bank accounts of various companies and accounts of promoters, shares worth Rs. 6.67 Crores and various high-end luxury cars.

On the basis of false and fabricated documents the Sandesara brothers fraudently obtained credit facilities of more than 5000cr from various banks like Andhra Bank, UCO Bank, SBI, Allahabad Bank and Bank of India. But they fail to repay the amount and the banks declared the outstanding loan loan accounts to the tune of Rs 5000 crores.

During the investigations non bailable warrants were also issued by the special PMLA court New Delhi against several persons including Nitin and Chetan Sandesara. The ED release further states that Sandesaras set up more than 300 shell and benami companies in India and abroad used to divert and mis utilise the loan. They also involved in many ways to manipulate the documents to obtain further loans from bank.

In total, the ED has carried out more than 50 searches at various premises in multiple cities including Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Surat, in connection with the ongoing investigations.

In this case, the ED has arrested 3 persons so far, including Delhi based Businessman Gagan Dhawan, Anup Garg Ex-Director of Andhra Bank (Chartered Accountant) and Rajbhushan Dixit, Director of Sterling Biotech Ltd. The ED has also filed multiple prosecution complaints before the Special PMLA Court in this case.

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