Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s son Faisal is being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Sterling Biotech case. Faisal, who was questioned twice last week by the agency, has been called again on Thursday, ED sources said.
An ED official said that in the last two rounds of questioning, Faisal was asked about his alleged links with a witness and the promoters of Sterling Biotech. The witness has given a statement to the agency about alleged financial transactions between Faisal and Sterling promoters Chetan and Nitin Sandesara.
The witness, Sunil Yadav, an employee of Sandesara Group, has told the agency that he bore “expenses of Rs 10 lakh” for a party attended by Faisal, “arranged” entry for him into a night club and once delivered “Rs 5 lakh” to his driver in Khan Market on the instructions of Chetan Sandesara, one of the promoters of the Vadodara-based pharmaceutical firm, the sources said.
Yadav told the ED that the cash was “meant for Faisal Patel”, the sources said.
Last month, the ED had questioned Patel’s son-in-law Irfan Siddiqui in connection with the case. He, too, was questioned on the basis of Yadav’s statement.
It is alleged that the pharmaceutical firm and its main promoters Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara and Deepti Sandesara — all of whom are absconding — perpetrated a Rs 8,100-crore bank loan fraud.
The ED probe is based on an FIR registered by CBI against Sterling Biotech Ltd in October 2017. The CBI had alleged that the group had wilfully defaulted on loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank and diverted the money for personal purposes of the promoters.
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