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Delhi Court extends man’s ED custody in money laundering case

The FIR alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

PTI | New Delhi |

A Delhi court today extended by three days the remand of a man, who is in custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a bank loan fraud case of over Rs 5,000 crore over allegations that he had sent Rs 25 lakh cash to the official residence of a senior Congress leader here.

Duty Magistrate Bhavna Kalia extended the custody of Ranjit Malik alias Johny after he was produced in the court on expiry of his one-day custody granted yesterday.

On an application moved by special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, the court said that the accused was being sent for custodial interrogation for three more days and he should be produced in the court concerned on Monday.

According to the ED, Malik had allegedly sent through a man named Rakesh Chandra Rs 25 lakh to 23, Mother Teresa Crescent, which is the official address of Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

“The seized material, telephonic chats, and bank account statements contain a lot of financial transactions including cash transactions which have to bear on Sterling Biotech group. Ranjit Malik has thus not only being non-cooperative and evasive but also acted as a conduit for Gagan Dhawan and has been actively involved in money laundering.

“One Rakesh Chandra, in his statement of August 25, 2017, before ED had stated on oath that Malik was using him as a delivery boy of cash to various persons. On one occasion, he delivered cash of Rs 25 lakh at 23, Mother Teresa Crescent, New Delhi. When Malik was asked about such transactions, he gave evasive replies,” the ED had told the court yesterday.

However, the period when he delivered the cash was not disclosed by the agency.

In the application moved through advocate A R Aditya, the ED sought the extension of custody by 14 more days saying that over Rs 5,000 crore has been diverted and the accused was needed for the probe in that regard.

The application was opposed by the advocate appearing for the accused who claimed there was no proof against him and that there was no need for keeping him in custody for so long and.

The ED had recently filed a charge sheet against a director of the pharma firm in the case in which the agency has accused the company of taking loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which had turned into non-performing assets.

The agency had in February arrested a former director of Andhra Bank, Anup Prakash Garg, and Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan last November in connection with the case.

They were named as accused in the cases by the ED and the CBI.

The ED registered a money laundering case in this instance after taking cognizance of an earlier CBI FIR.

The CBI had booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

The FIR alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.