Court allows ED to start extradition proceedings against Sandesara brothers

New Delhi: A Delhi Court on Monday allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to initiate extradition proceedings against Sandesara brothers from Italy and Nigeria.

The ED had registered a case in an alleged bank fraud of approximately Rs 8,100 crore against the firm Sterling Biotech Limited under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Earlier a Delhi court on January 5 had accepted the ED’s plea seeking an open-ended non-bailable warrant against four including Sandesara brothers, promoters of Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm Sterling Biotech Limited and also accused in Rs 8,000 crore plus bank fraud case.

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar had allowed the petition after the ED cited that an open-ended non-bailable warrant will help them get red corner notices issued against the four accused. Those under the ED scrutiny are the firm’s directors—Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara, Dipti Sandesara, and Hitesh Patel.

This hefty economic fraud came to light after a PMLA court on December 6 last year confirmed the attachment of assets worth Rs 4,700 crore of Sterling Biotech Group by the ED.

The properties included movable and immovable properties of Sterling Biotech Limited spread across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi, and so on.

The ED had previously moved the special PMLA Court in Delhi and filed the complaint under Section 4 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act against the four accused, who fled the country to allegedly avoid criminal investigations.

Earlier too, the ED had sought permission to confiscate their properties in India and abroad.