Sandesara case: ED quizzes Ahmed Patel

5 months ago 36
google news

NEW DELHI: Officials of ED on Saturday questioned senior

Congress

leader and party treasurer

Ahmed Patel

about his family’s alleged links with Chetan and Nitin Sandesara, fugitive promoters of Sterling Biotech (SBL), who have been accused of duping public sector banks and scripting a Rs 15,000 crore

money laundering

scam.
Sources said officials of ED, who agreed to Patel’s plea to hold the session at his place in view of the pandemic and his vulnerability to the virus because of his age, asked him about the statements recorded by his son Faisal and son-in-law Irfan Siddiqui, both of whom had been questioned multiple times over the past one year or so about their alleged dealings with the Vadodara-based Sandesaras.
Chetan and Nitin, who were granted huge loans by public sector banks, fled along with their family members to

Nigeria

where they bought ships, oil rigs, houses and a private jet. CBI filed a case against them in 2017 following which ED, in the last two years, attached assets, including oil rigs, ships and the private jet, worth Rs 9,700 crore belonging to the SBL Group in India and Nigeria.
According to sources, Patel had earlier this month expressed his inability to visit the ED office because of the Covid crisis.
Patel reacted to ED officials’ visit by accusing the

government

of vendetta.
He said since BJP came to power, investigative agencies, at the instance of “one person”, go after opposition leaders every time there is a Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha or assembly election. “Unfortunately, this time the Modi government’s failure to manage economic, health and national security crisis is so huge that none of the agencies can help spin the narrative,” Patel said.
“Rather than fighting the pandemic and China, this government is more keen to fight the opposition. Nonetheless, our conscience is clear. We have nothing to hide nor are we afraid to criticise and expose the government’s failures and their past corruption,” he said.

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