On Thursday, around seven locations in Delhi were raided by the Enforcement Directorate, a branch of a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency. These raids were conducted in connection with a Rs 5,000-crore money laundering investigation against a Gujarat based firm Sterling Biotech. Official sources said the raiding teams seized documents and computer hardware like hard drives and CDs from the associates of the owners of the firm.
Cases against the Gujarat based firm and the Sandesara family were registered by the Enforcement Directorate. The cases were registered under Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The case is based on a CBI FIR against the same entities.
Directors of Sterling Biotech, Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi were booked by the CBI. Chartered accountant Hemant Hathi and former Andhra Bank director Anup Garg were among other unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case, PTI reported. The CBI alleged that the company took loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from Andhra Bank which turned into non-performing assets (NPAs).
As per the FIR, the pending dues of the group companies were amounting up to Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016. The Enforcement Directorate has filed a money laundering case against them. The central probe agency had also arrested Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in the case on 31 October.
Back in July this year, the Enforcement Directorate raided the premises of RJD MP Misa Bharti and her husband Sailesh Kumar. Their premises were raided due to an alleged case of money laundering. The premises of a firm linked to Misa and her husband was also raided in the case. The ED raid comes a day after 12 locations of Lalu Yadav family were raided by CBI in an alleged case of corruption.
On April 1, 2017, the Enforcement Directorate conducted another search with more than 100 locations. This was done as a part of the crackdown on 300 shell companies across 16 states. The companies have been accused of transferring Rs 500 and Rs 1000 when the demonetisation drive was in effect. These 300 companies have also been accused of money laundering.