Sterling Biotech: ED questions Ahmed Patel at his residence
New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) In more troubles for senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who is a close aide of party chief Sonia Gandhi, a team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday reached his residence here to record his statement in connection with the alleged multi-crore rupees bank fraud by the Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech.According to ED officials, a team of senior financial probe agency officials reached the residence of Patel in the national capital to record his statement under the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
An ED source related to the development told IANS, “The agency has summoned Patel for questioning in connection with the case but he did not appear before it citing the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic outbreak. So our team has reached his residence to record his statement.”Last year, the ED had questioned Patel’s son Faisal Patel about his relations with the Sandesara brothers (Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara and Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara), owners and promoters of the Vadodara-based pharmaceutical firm.The ED had also confronted Faisal with the statement of Sunil Yadav, an employee of the Sandesara group, in which he had alleged that the son of the Congress leader took his friends to a farm house to party and all the expenses were borne by Chetan.
The ED suspected that Faisal and his brother-in-law Irfan Siddiqui were close to the Sandesara brothers.On July 30 last year, the ED had questioned Patel’s son-in-law and advocate Irfan Siddiqui in connection with the probe.According to ED officials, Yadav alleged that Siddiqui and Faisal were allegedly given code names by Chetan Sandesara. “Chetan and Gagan referred to Siddiqui as Irfan Bhai,” he said.Irfan’s code name was ‘i2’ and Faisal’s ‘i1’, Yadav had said. He also said, Faisal would take his friends to Puspanjali Farms to party and all the expenses were borne by Chetan Sandesara.The ED registered a money laundering case against the Sandesara brothers and others in August 2017 after a case of alleged bank fraud of Rs 5,700 crore was filed against them by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).The ED probe revealed that the Sandesara brothers and others hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat banks by manipulating figures in the balance sheets of their flagship companies and induce banks to sanction higher loans.–IANSaks/rs/