No information on whereabouts of Sandesaras: CBI

New Delhi: Amid media reports that Chetan and Nitin Sandesara, both directors of Gujarat based pharma company Sterling Biotech and wanted in an over Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud case may have fled the country, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday said that it has “no information” about their whereabouts.

A senior CBI official said that it has no information on the whereabouts of Chetan and Nitin Sandesara.

The agency’s official’s remark came soon after media reports said that Chetan and Nitin had fled to Nigeria with their families.

The CBI had booked 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 of Andhra Bank Anup Prakash Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud in October 2017.

According to the CBI FIR, Sterling Biotech had taken over Rs 5,000 crore loans from a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank, which had turned into non-performing assets. The total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) initiated a money-laundering probe into the case taking cognizance of the CBI FIR.

On January 13, the ED arrested Garg. The agency also arrested a Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in connection with the case in November last year. The ED also attached properties worth Rs 4,703 crore.

The ED in a statement said that the loans to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore were disbursed by the various banks during the years 2004-2012.

It also said that the lookout circulars against the accused were opened in August 2017.

During the course of an investigation, three persons were arrested, one of them named Gagan Dhawan who was close to the “power centre” when the loans were sanctioned.

The ED also said that it was finding more properties.