ED arrests director of firm in bank fraud case

All three were arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). (Representational photo)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested one of the directors of Sterling Group, which has been booked by the CBI and the ED for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore in bank loans.

The agency arrested Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit on Thursday evening and presented him before a local court on Friday.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand sent Dixit to ED’s custody for one day after special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, said that his custodial interrogation is required. The ED had sought 14-day custody for the accused.

The magistrate, on special duty on the Republic Day, directed the agency to produce the accused before the court concerned on Saturday.

This is the third arrest in the case. The agency had earlier this month arrested former director of Andhra Bank Anup Prakash Garg, and Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in November last year.

While Garg is currently in judicial custody, Dhawan was granted bail in January 4. All three were arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

They were named accused in the cases by the ED and the CBI. The ED registered a money laundering case in this instance after taking cognisance of an earlier FIR by the CBI.

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; Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

The investigation agency had alleged that the company had taken loans of more than Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank, which had turned into non-performing assets. The FIR had also alleged that the total pending dues of the group’s companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

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