Sterling Biotech’s  Rs 9778-crore assets attached by Enforcement Directorate

New Delhi: Oil rigs in Nigeria, ships, a business jet and a plush flat in London were among the assets, worth over Rs 9,700 crore, attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Wednesday as part of its bank fraud and money laundering probe against Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm Sterling Biotech. The ED has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attachment of these properties. This is one of the biggest attachment of assets order issued by the agency and in this, most of the properties attached are based abroad, a senior official said. The total value is Rs 9,778 crore.

Four oil rigs and an oil field named OML143 in Nigeria, four Panama registered ships --'Tuljabhawani', 'Varinda', 'Bhavya' and 'Brahmanietc', a gulfstream jet registered in the US and held in the name of SAIB LLC, and a residential flat in London have been attached, the federal probe agency said in a statement. The holding company of the ships is Atlantic Blue Water Services, it said The alleged Rs 8,100 crore bank loan fraud is being alleged to have been perpetrated by the Vadodara-based pharma firm and its main promoters Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara and Deepti Sandesara, all of whom are absconding.

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