A former Andhra Bank director, arrested in connection with a money laundering probe in an alleged Rs 5,000-crore bank fraud case involving a Gujarat-based pharma firm, on Saturday was sent to a two-day custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Ritu Singh sent Anup Prakash Garg, who was arrested by the ED last evening, after the agency said he was required for custodial interrogation.
The ED had sought a two-week custody of Garg. This was the second arrest in the case after the agency had, in November last year, held Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan. Garg has been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He has been named as an accused in the case by the ED as well as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The ED had lodged the money laundering case after taking cognisance of an earlier FIR registered by the CBI. The agency had said that during the probe, it came across “certain entries” in a diary seized by the Income Tax department in 2011, which showed various cash payments amounting to Rs 1.52 crore made to one “Mr Garg, Director, Andhra Bank” by the Sandesara brothers between 2008 and 2009.
It had said, “Various cash payments were made to Garg, as reflected in the said entries, on the instructions of the Sandesara brothers, by withdrawing cash from the bank accounts of several benami companies owned by them.”
It had alleged that Garg infused several crores of his unaccounted money in various companies through several Kolkata-based bogus shell companies, with the help of cash or cheque entry operators in Kolkata, in order to launder the proceeds of crime obtained by him from the Sandesaras.
The CBI had booked the Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the case.
It had alleged that the company took loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank, which turned into non-performing assets. The FIR had also alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.