ED interrogates Congress leader Ahmed Patel in multi-crore Sterling scam case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday quizzed senior Congress leader and Gujarat MP Ahmed Patel at his Central Delhi residence in the Rs 15,000 crore Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) scam case. The Gujarat-based company has allegedly defaulted on loans worth Rs 5,300 crore.
The three-member team interrogated him for over two hours and recorded the statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED had summoned Patel twice on earlier occasions as well, but he evaded it quoting Center’s Coronavirus guidelines for those above 60-years of age to stay indoors. Subsequently, the probing agency informed him that an investigating officer would be sent to his residence for questioning.
The Congress leader had allegedly taken a bribe of Rs 25 lakh in cash from a Delhi-based middleman Gagan Dhawan. Dhawan revealed the name of Patel after the ED arrested him in November 2017 in the Sandesara Group money laundering case. After this, Patel’s son Faisal and son-in-law Irfan Siddiqui (Advocate) also admitted knowing one of the promoters Nitin Sandesara.
According to the ED, the SBL promoters - Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara, and Deepti Sandesara - duped Indian banks of over Rs 14,500 crores, which is much higher compared to what diamantaire Modi did, of around Rs 11,400 crore and PNB scam (Rs11,356.84 crore) committed by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.