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In a massive development in the Sandesara scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached the properties of Sanjay Khan, Dino Morea, Aqeel Abdulkhalil Bachooali, and Irfan Ahmed Siddiqui under provisions of PMLA in the Sandesara Group case. Enforcement Directorate provisionally attached eight immovable properties, three vehicles, and several bank accounts, shares, mutual funds having a total value of Rs 8.79 crore on Friday, a release from the agency said.
The attached assets belong to Sanjay Khan ( Rs. 3 Crore), Dino Morea ( Rs. 1.40 Crore), Aqeel Abdulkhalil Bachooali ( Rs. 1.98 Crore) and Irfan Ahmed Siddiqui ( Rs.2.41 Crore). Four separate provisional attachment orders under section 5 of PMLA have been issued in this regard. Enforcement Directorate initiated an investigation under PMLA on the basis of FIR registered by CBI, Delhi for cheating several public sector banks.
In a press release on Friday, ED said that an investigation had revealed that Sandesaras had diverted Proceeds of Crime of Rs 3 Crore, Rs 1.4 Crore, Rs 12.54 Crore & Rs 3.51 Crore to Sanjay Khan, Dino Morea, Aqeel Bachooali, and Irfan Ahmed Siddiqui respectively. Earlier, ED had attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs 14,513 Crore vide 08 Provisional attachment orders in relation to the case. With this attachment, the total attachment, in this case, reached Rs 14,521.80 Crore. The total Proceeds of Crime in the case is more than Rs 16000 Crore.
Enforcement Directorate has provisionally attached movable & immovable properties worth Rs. 8.79 Crore under PMLA in Sandesara Group case. With this attachment, the total attachment reached to Rs 14,521.80 Crore. pic.twitter.com/8SEPTxCRZf— ED (@dir_ed) July 2, 2021
As per reports, the Sterling Biotech Ltd promoters - Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara and Dipti Sandesara have cheated a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank, UCO Bank, State Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Bank of India, by availing loans of around Rs 9000 crores from the banks' foreign branches. The Sandesaras used overseas companies of the Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) group and diverted these funds for non-mandated purposes through domestic as well as offshore entities, as per reports. The ED has attached properties worth Rs 9778 crore of the SBL group in the same bank fraud case.
Reports further state that the Sandesaras have siphoned off money to fund their Nigerian oil business - Sterling Energy and Exploration Production Ltd (SEEPCO). All Sandesaras are reportedly in hiding in Nigeria and have been declared as wilful defaulters. The Central Bureau of Investigation recently sought information from Interpol Nigeria to verify Sandesaras' presence and to allow their extradition back to India.