Actor Dino Morea, DJ Aqeel skip ED summons in Sterling Biotech case

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Dino Morea and popular disc jockey DJ Aqeel, who is the son-in-law of actor-director Sanjay Khan, on Monday skipped the Enforcement Directorate’s summons in the Rs 8,100 crore Sterling Biotech loan fraud case.

A senior official told IANS: “The agency had summoned Morea and Aqeel last week but they skipped the questioning.”

According to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, the actor and the DJ were asked to appear as the ED has got evidence that the two were paid money by Sterling Biotech Ltd. (SBL) group in the past for performing in Gujarat.

Aqeel is married to Farah Ali Khan, the eldest daughter of Bollywood actor and director Khan, since 2004.

The official said the two were summoned under the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act. The agency last week had made one of its largest PMLA attachments and frozen assets worth 9,778 crore of the group in India and abroad.

The agency registered a money laundering case against the Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech group of the Sandesara brothers (Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara and Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara), 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.

Investigation by the ED revealed that the Sandesara brothers and others hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat banks by manipulating figures in the balancesheets of their flagship companies to induce banks to sanction higher loans.

According to the ED officials, after obtaining loans, the accused diverted them to non-mandated purposes through a web of shell companies. Thus, the loan funds were diverted, layered and laundered by the promoters for personal purposes.

The total amount of loan fraud was put at Rs 8,100 crore. Loans to the tune of Rs 5,700 crore were disbursed by various banks from 2004 to 2012. The ED said the banks have also declared the loans to the tune of Rs 8,100 crore as fraud (domestic loans of Rs 3,675 crore and foreign loans of Rs 4,425 crore).

The ED said it has arrested four persons including a Delhi-based businessman-cum-middleman Gagan Dhawan, ex-director of Andhra Bank, Anup Garg, Director of SBL R.B. Dixit and Ranjeet Malik, an aide to Dhawan.

Fugitive businessman Hitesh Narender Bhai Patel was detained in Albania’s capital Tirana on March 22 on the basis of a red corner notice (RCN) issued against him by Interpol on March 11 following requests from Indian authorities.

Patel is the brother-in-law of the Sandesara brothers.

The ED said the accused have incorporated more than 100 entities in various countries including the UAE, the US, the UK, British Virgin Islands, Mauritius, Barbados and Nigeria.

Their main entities outside India include Richmond Overseas, Sunshine Trust Corp, SEEPCO BVI, SEEPCO Nigeria and Atlantic Blue Water Services.