Sterling Biotech bank fraud case: Accused Hitesh Patel detained in Albania; to be extradited to India soon

New Delhi: Hitesh Patel, an accused in a case related to Rs 8,100 crore alleged bank loan fraud by Sterling Biotech group, has been detained in Albania on the basis of an Interpol notice issued by the Enforcement Directorate, officials said on Friday.

Patel, who allegedly handled the finances of Sterling Biotech, will be extradited to India.

They said Hitesh Narender Bhai Patel was apprehended by law enforcement officials of Albania in Tirana on 20 March.

"Patel is an accused in the case and is the brother-in-law of the main accused in the case, the Sandesara brothers (Nitin and Chetan Sandesara). He is expected to be extradited to India soon," officials said.

 Sterling Biotech bank fraud case: Accused Hitesh Patel detained in Albania; to be extradited to India soon

Representational image. Reuters

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had ensued an Interpol red corner notice against him on 11 March.

They said Patel was instrumental in getting dummy directors for shell companies used by Sandesaras.

Early this week, A Delhi court allowed the ED to send extradition requests to Republic of Albania against two directors of a Gujarat pharma firm in a Rs 8,100-crore money laundering case, PTI reported.

The ED told the court that as per reliable sources, the accused — Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Chetankumar Jayantilal Sandesara, both directors of Sterling Biotech — have obtained the citizenship of Albania and non-bailable warrants (NBWs) were issued against them this year.

Special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana submitted that extradition requests needed to be certified by the court.

The court issued fresh NBWs against both the accused and will be attached with the requests.

ED had registered the alleged bank fraud case against the firm SBL under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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Updated Date: Mar 22, 2019 15:45:59 IST