NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will write to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to "revoke passport" of one of the absconding directors of the Gujarat-based pharmaceutical company Sterling Biotech in connection with its ongoing money laundering probe in the alleged Rs 5,000-crore bank fraud case.
An agency source told IANS that some of the Directors of the Sterling Biotech have gone missing or underground after the registration of the case. "In November last year, a court here had issued non-bailable warrants against two directors of the Gujarat-based pharma firm," he said.
The warrants were issued against Sterling Biotech Directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara and Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara for evading ED summons.
"Now, one of the top Directors of the Sterling Biotech has been located in a south European country, so the agency shall soon approach the MEA to revoke his passport," the source said.
The ED initiated a money laundering probe into the case taking cognisance of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR in the case.
The CBI had booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, former Director of Andhra Bank Anup Prakash Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.
Sterling Biotech had taken over Rs 5,000 crore loans from a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank, which had turned into non-performing assets. Total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016, alleged the CBI FIR.
On January 13, 2018, the ED arrested Garg. The agency also arrested a Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in connection with the case in November last year.