Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, director of Gujarat-based pharma company Sterling Biotech.

Enforcement Directorate Attaches Sterling Biotech Assets Worth Rs 9,800 Crore

The Enforcement Directorate has attached Sterling Biotech Ltd.'s assets worth nearly Rs 9,800 crore, in connection with its money laundering probe against the Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm, ED officials said Wednesday.

Sterling Biotech is allegedly involved in a multi-crore bank fraud case.

According to the ED officials quoted above, a provisional order of attachment was issued by the investigation agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The value of the attached properties, some of which are overseas, is estimated at Rs 9,778 crore.

It is alleged that Sterling Biotech took loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium of lenders led by Andhra Bank but never paid back. The promoters of the firm, the Sandesara brothers of Vadodara, are absconding. This forced banks to declare Sterling Biotech account as a non-performing asset.

The total quantum of the Sterlite Biotech bank fraud is pegged at Rs 8,100 crore.

The ED has registered a criminal case in the matter based on a first investigation report and a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

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