New Delhi: The CBI has requested the Interpol wing of Nigeria to confirm if absconding promoter of Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech, Nitin Sandesara, being probed in the multi-crore (Rs 5,383 crore) banking fraud case, has moved in that country.
According to sources there are reports that Sandesara along with his family members, also accused in the scam, have fled from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Nigeria with which India does not have any extradition treaty. The agency sleuths maintained that they have no input about the whereabouts of Sandersara and his family members. Following the reports, the agency has approached the Nigerian Interpol authorities to find out details of Sandesara and his family members.
Last October, the agency 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 Garg and other unidentified persons.
The Central probe agency alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which have turned into non-performing assets. The FIR alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.
The directors of the company “connived with the in-house chartered accountant and falsified material records of the company”, such as production, turnover and investments in capital assets, the FIR alleged. This was allegedly done using various India-based entities and those situated abroad, said the FIR. The company was also booked by the CBI for allegedly bribing senior Income Tax department officials.
On June 28, 2011, the income-tax department had conducted searches and seizures at 25 premises of Sterling Biotech Ltd, during which a diary containing hand-written records of financial transactions was found, the FIR in that case had alleged. “Some of these names were appended with further references such as IT or commissioner etc,” it had alleged.
In the present case, the CBI has booked all the accused for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption among other charges. The CBI has alleged that false and fabricated documents and manipulated balance sheets were prepared for getting loans sanctioned from the banks which were later diverted for personal purposes.