ED arrests ‘middleman’ in Sterling Biotech case

ED arrests ‘middleman’ in Sterling Biotech case

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate has arrested an alleged middleman, Gagan Dhawan, in connection with the money laundering case against Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech Limited and others for allegedly cheating PSU banks of ₹5,383 crore.Dhawan, said to have strong links with some influential bureaucrats and politicians, has been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as some of the diverted funds purportedly went to him and was used for acquiring properties.The has been registered on a CBI FIR against Sterling Biotech, its directors, in-house chartered accountant and the then Andhra Bank director. It is alleged that the group companies availed themselves of credit facilities of more than ₹5,000 crore from an Andhra Bank-led consortium of PSU banks on the basis of manipulated records and diverted the funds to various entities in India and abroad.Another caseDhawan’s name had figured in another case recently registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Sterling Biotech, three senior IRS officials and others.According to that case, the Sandesara group, of which Sterling Biotech is a flagship company, had been acting as “a depository for receiving funds on behalf of persons, including public servants, and for further delivery to them at a place of convenience. The evidence collected by the Income Tax Department showed corruption of various public servants, including three senior IRS officers.”It is alleged that the funds received from corrupt bureaucrats were diverted through “middlemen” like Dhawan, who got them invested in properties.Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, the ED had in August carried out searches against Dhawan and a former Delhi Congress leader Sumesh Shokeen, who is a property dealer.last_img

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