25 June 2019: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating officials and examining documents of banks that have lent money to the Sterling Group, which is facing insolvency proceedings over debts of Rs 15,600 crore, Zee Media has reported.
The Banking and Securities Fraud Cell of CBI has been examining documents and questioning officials of the lender banks for eight days. The focus of the CBI’s investigation is to understand on what basis the loans had been sanctioned and if due processes were followed or not.
Many of the banks that lent to the Sterling Group are PSU banks – Andhra Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank, SBI, Indian Overseas Bank, Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India.
The Sterling Group is owned by Nitin Sandesara and his family. The Group owned by Sandesara family, who have fled the country to avoid legal proceedings. Sterling Biotech owes more than Rs 7,500 crore and Sterling SEZ owes over Rs 8,100 crore.
Apart from CBI, Enforcement Directorate is conducting investigation against the Sandesara family. The ED had already moved to the PMLA court and registered a complaint under the recently-enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders Act against Nitin, Chetan and Dipti Sandesara, and Managing Director (MD) Hitesh Patel. Other than Patel, Chetan and Dipti are also MDs of the company.
In March 2019, it was reported that Hitesh Patel was nabbed by the Interpol after a red corner notice (RCN) was issued in his name.
Categories: Corporate Governance