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18 Jul 2019, 23:01 HRS IST
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  • Court allows ED to send extradition request for Sterling directors to Albania in Rs 8,100-cr fraud

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18:49 HRS IST

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI)
A Delhi court Tuesday allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to send extradition requests to Albania for two directors of a Gujarat-based pharma firm in a Rs 8,100-crore money laundering case.

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

Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana submitted that extradition requests needed to be certified by the court.

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora issued fresh NBWs against the accused and will be attached with the requests.

"It is required that this court may certify the extradition request to be sent to the Republic of Albania, where the accused have obtained the citizenship, as per the information with the ED from the reliable sources," Rana told the court.

The court had in January this year issued open-ended NBWs against the accused on a plea moved by advocate A R Aditya on behalf of ED.

Besides Nitin and Chetankumar, the court had also issued NBWs against two other SBL directors -- Dipti Chetan Sandesara and Hiteshkumar Narendrabhai Patel.

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

The accused are also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior Income Tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.

The ED had earlier told the court that the accused have left the country under suspicious circumstances and evaded the process of law to face criminal prosecution.

It said they were "shifting countries to escape the clutches of the law".

The agency attached a number of properties belonging to the accused and a charge sheet was filed against them and others.

The ED had earlier told the court that it suspected the accused to be in Nigeria, the United States or the United Arab Emirates because they have extensive business interests in these countries.

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