The Directorate of Execution interrogates Congressman Ahmed Patel on the Sandesara brothers’ money laundering case

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Sandesara Brothers case: Congress chief Ahmed Patel interviewed by Enforcement Directore (File)

New Delhi:

The Directorate of Law Enforcement questioned Congressman Ahmed Patel on Saturday in a money laundering case of 8,100 crore rupees involving the Sandesara brothers.

A team of three members of the agency visited Mr. Patel at his residence in central Delhi to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Patel, 70, had previously been summoned for questioning by the agency twice, but cited the lockout and directives regarding the COVID-19 epidemic which require seniors to stay indoors; the virus would be particularly dangerous for people over 65.

The case concerns an investigation against Chetan and Nitin Sandesara, and a few others, into the suspected bank fraud allegedly spread by the Gujarat-based company Sterling Biotech.

The original indictment, filed under various provisions of the PMLA, accused the company of borrowing from a consortium led by Andhra Bank that had turned into non-performing assets (NPA) or bad debt.

The prosecution records indicate that the accused manipulated figures in the balance sheets of their flagship companies and prompted banks to sanction higher loans.

Patel, a state MP for Rajya Sabha, was also summoned by the Income Tax Department in March to investigate tax evasion linked to his party’s money transactions.

He received a notice of appearance in his capacity as party treasurer. Patel told the PTI news agency that he was surprised to see the summons.

“Our accounts are transparent and clear. Better, they (the IT department) should have looked at the record donations from the BJP. They called me and I will definitely go, but I don’t know why they called me,” he said.

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