ED grills Ahmad Patel in a multi-crore PML case

Congress leader Ahmed Patel

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has questioned senior Congress leader and  AICC Treasurer Ahmed Patel from Gujrat at his New Delhi residence for about hours in connection with the Sandesara money laundering case. A three-member ED team on Saturday, June 27 reached Patel’s home at 23, Mother Teresa Crescent in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone around 11.30 am. The team members were seen wearing masks and gloves as a precautionary measure against the Covid-19 pandemic.“Modi Ji aur Amit Shah Ji ka mehmaan aaye the… They came, asked me questions, I replied and they left, “Ahmed Patel said. The agency recorded Patel’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and his purported links with Rs 14,500 crore bank loan fraud by the Vadodara-based pharma firm Sterling Biotech and its main promoters Sandesara brothers. Last year, the agency had questioned Patel’s son Faisal and son-in-law Irfan Siddiqui in this case and recorded their statements. The ED had summoned Patel, 70, twice for questioning in the case but the  Rajya Sabha member cited his inability to appear due to the Covid-19 guidelines that advise senior citizens to stay indoors. The money laundering case under probe relates to the alleged Rs 14,500 crore bank loan fraud by the Vadodara-based pharma firm Sterling Biotech and its main promoters — Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara and Deepti Sandesara. They are part of a family and absconding till date. The Sandesaras are also facing separate probes by the CBI and the Income Tax Department for their alleged nexus with some high-profile politicians and charges of corruption and tax evasion, respectively. He accused the government of “using probe agencies every time it faced a crisis or when there was an election”. PTI reports quoting Patel “If you were to do an analysis, you will see a clear pattern over the past many years. Every time there is a Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha election or the government is facing a crisis, one or more investigative agencies become active on the instructions of one individual,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately this time, the (Narendra) Modi government’s failure to manage an economic, health and national security crisis is now so huge, that none of the agencies can help spin the narrative,” the Congress leader said and alleged that rather than fighting the pandemic and China, this government was “keener to fight the opposition”.

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