ED arrests Delhi businessman in Rs 5,000 cr money laundering case

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested prominent businessmanGagan Dhawan in connection with a money laundering probe into an over Rs 5,000 crore alleged bank fraud case, officials said.

An official of the financial probe agency told IANS that Dhawan was arrested from his south Delhi residence in a case involving bank fraud of over Rs 5,000 crore by Sandesara Group under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

He will be produced before a court later in the day, the official said.

According to ED officials, Dhawan allegedly aided bank loan frauds related to a Vadodara-based company named Sterling Biotech.

The ED official said that his involvement with a few other alleged illegal transactions are on their checklist.

His arrest comes after the ED registered a case of money laundering taking cognisance of a case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Sterling Biotech, its Directors — Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi and several other persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

According to ED officials, Dhawan is also being probed for allegedly bribing four senior Income Tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.

On August 25, the ED officials had raided Dhawan’s office and premises and that of a former Congress MLA Sumesh Shokeen under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

It is alleged that Dhawan laundered the money of Sandesh Arya through his companies based in Ethiopia and some other countries.

Earlier in 2011, Income Tax officials had raided Arya’s residences and a case was registered then.