New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel's son Faisal Patel was questioned for seven hours by the Enforcement Directorate here on Thursday in the alleged case of multi-crore bank fraud and money-laundering by Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech.
A senior ED official told IANS, "Faisal was asked about his relations with the Sandesara brothers (Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara and Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara), the owners and promoters of the Vadodara-based pharmaceutical firm." The official said the agency confronted Faisal with the statement of Sunil Yadav, im which he had alleged that the son of the COngress leader took his friends to a farm house to party and all the expenses were borne by Chetan.
The official said his statement was recorded under sections of the money laundering Act. The official said that the ED suspects that Faisal and his brother-in-law Irfan Siddiqui were close to the Sandesara brothers. This is for the third time that the financial probe agency has grilled the son of the COngress treasurer in connection with the case. On July 30, the financial probe agency had also grilled Ahmed Patel's son-in-law and advocate Irfan Siddiqui in connection with the probe.
According to ED officials, Sunil Yadav, an employee of the Sandesara group, has alleged that Siddiqui and Faisal Patel were allegedly given code names by Chetan Sandesara. "Chetan and Gagan referred to Siddiqui as Irfan Bhai. Irfan's code name was 'i2' and Faisal was given code name 'i1'," Yadav had said in his statement to the agency. He also said that Faisal Patel used to take his friends to Puspanjali Farms to party and all the expenses were borne by Chetan Sandesara.
The ED registered a money laundering case against the Sandesara brothers and others in August 2017 after a case of alleged bank fraud of Rs 5,700 crore was filed against them by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Investigation by the ED revealed that the Sandesara brothers and others hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat banks by manipulating figures in the balance sheets of their flagship companies to induce banks to sanction higher loans.