The Enforcement Directorate has attached 4,701 crore rupees worth of assets of Sterling Biotech Group in connection with a 5,000 crore rupees bank fraud under money laundering case.
The agency issued a provisional freezing order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and attached immovable properties of around 4,000 acres, plant and machinery, around 200 bank accounts of various linked companies and promoters, shares worth 6.67 crore rupees and a number of luxury cars of the Vadodara-based pharmaceutical company.
This is one of the ED’s biggest attachment of assets under the stringent PMLA this year.
The ED had registered a criminal case of money laundering against the firm and its promoters Nitin and Chetan Sandesara in October last year, taking cognisance of a CBI FIR in the case made on charges of alleged corruption. It had then conducted about 50 searches at various locations in the country.
The probe agencies had alleged that the firm and its absconding promoters, on the basis of false and fabricated documents, had fraudulently obtained credit facilities of more than 5,000 crore rupees from various banks, which subsequently turned into NPAs.
The agency has arrested three people so far in this case, Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan, former Andhra Bank director Anup Garg and Sterling Biotech Ltd director Rajbhhushan Dixit.