A day after the Enforcement Directorate questioned Faisal Patel, son of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, in the alleged multi-crore bank fraud and money-laundering by the Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech, the agency has summoned him again on Monday, according to ED officials.
"Faisal was questioned on Thursday for over eight hours about his relations with the Sandesara brothers (Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara and Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara), owners and promoters of the Vadodara-based pharmaceutical firm," a senior ED official told IANS.
The official said the agency has asked him to appear before it at 11 a.m. on Monday as the ED was not satisfied with his statements. The ED have questioned Faisal four times under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
On earlier occasions, Faisal was confronted with the statement of Sunil Yadav, an employee of the Sandesara group, in which he had alleged that the son of the Congress leader took his friends to a farm house to party and all the expenses were borne by Chetan.
The ED suspected that Faisal and his brother-in-law Irfan Siddiqui were close to the Sandesara brothers, the official said. On July 30, the ED had questioned Patel's son-in-law and advocate Irfan Siddiqui in connection with the probe.
According to ED officials, Yadav alleged that Siddiqui and Faisal were allegedly given code names by Chetan Sandesara. "Chetan and Gagan referred to Siddiqui as Irfan Bhai," he said.
Irfan's code name was 'i2' and Faisal's 'i1', Yadav had said. He also said Faisal would take his friends to Puspanjali Farms to party and all the expenses were borne by Chetan Sandesara.
The ED registered a money laundering case against the Sandesara brothers 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 (CBI).
The ED probe revealed that the Sandesara brothers and others hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat banks by manipulating figures in the balance sheets of their flagship companies and induce banks to sanction higher loans.