ED gets court’s nod to send LRs to 21 countries in bank fraud case

New Delhi (India) Mar 23 (ANI): The Patiala House Court on Saturday granted permission to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to send Letters Rogatory (LR) to 21 countries to seek assistance in a bank fraud case involving a Gujarat-based pharma company.
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Arora granted the permission after ED’s counsel Nitesh Rana said these letters of request will be sent to the United States, Britain, the United Arab Emirates, China, Panama, Albania and other countries in connection with Sterling Biotech bank loan fraud case. The plea which was moved by ED’s another counsel A R Aditya also sought the court’s permission to send the LRs to Singapore, Nigeria, Seychelles, Mauritius, Jersey, Comoros, Cyprus, Bermuda, Switzerland, Indonesia, Lichtenstein and Hong Kong.
Hitesh Patel, a director of Sterling Biotech, was detained recently in Albania’s capital city Tirana. “Patel was detained by National Crime Bureau in Tirana on March 20 after a Red Corner Notice was issued on March 11,” ED sources said.
Patel is the brother-in-law of Sandesara brothers — Nitin and Chetan — the main accused. “Patel was instrumental in getting dummy directors for shell companies used by Sandesaras,” the sources said.
On Tuesday, the same court allowed financial investigators to send an extradition request to Albania against Nitin and Chetan.
Earlier, the ED had moved the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court and filed a complaint under Section 4 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act against four persons: Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara, Dipti Sandesara and Hitesh Patel.
“All the four accused are promoters of Sterling Group and have fled the country to avoid criminal investigation,” ED sources told ANI.

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