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Rs 5,000 Crore Bank Fraud: Has Gujarat Pharma Tycoon Nitin Sandesara Fled to Nigeria?

Contrary to earlier reports, Nitin Sandesara, owner of Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech and wanted by the CBI and the ED in a Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud, was never detained in Dubai.

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Updated:September 24, 2018, 10:29 AM IST
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Rs 5,000 Crore Bank Fraud: Has Gujarat Pharma Tycoon Nitin Sandesara Fled to Nigeria?
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New Delhi: Nitin Sandesara, absconding director of a Gujarat-based pharma company which is being probed in a Rs 5,000 crore fraud case, was reported to have been arrested in Dubai last month. But according to sources in the CBI and the ED, Sandesara is not in the UAE and is likely to have fled to Nigeria.

“There were reports that Nitin Sandesara was detained by UAE authorities in Dubai in the second week of August. The information was incorrect. He was never detained in Dubai. He and other family members probably left for Nigeria much before that,” an official was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Sandesara’s other family members, including brother Chetan Sandesara and sister-in-law Diptiben Sandesara are also believed to be hiding in Nigeria.

CBI has booked Vadodara-based 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 Andhra Bank Anup Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

It is alleged that the company took loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which had turned into non-performing assets. As per the FIR, the total pending dues of the group of companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016. The ED has taken the FIR into cognisance.

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested few people in this case including Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan, former Andhra Bank director Anup Garg and Sterling Biotech Ltd director Rajbhhushan Dixit.

Multiple prosecution complaints or charge sheets have also been filed by it before a special court. It had also attached assets worth over Rs 4,700 crore of the pharmaceutical firm in June this year.

In August, officials had said that Sandesara was arrested by Dubai police based on a non-bailable arrest warrant issued by an Indian court.
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