The Enforcement Directorate has arrested prominent businessman Gagan Dhawan in connection with a money laundering probe into an alleged bank fraud case of over Rs 5000 Crore by Sandesara Group under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Dhawan allegedly aided bank loan frauds related to a Vadodara-based company named Sterling Biotech. An ED official said that his involvement with several other alleged illegal transactions are on their checklist.
The arrest came after the ED registered a case of money laundering taking cognisance of a case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Sterling Biotech and its directors- Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, along with other persons involved with the bank fraud case. ED officials said Dhawan is also being probed for alleged bribing of four senior Income Tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint. He is reportedly a close aide of Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
The Sandesara group, according to the case, had been acting as a “depository for receiving funds on behalf of persons, including public servants, and for further delivery to them at a place of convenience. The evidence collected by the Income Tax Department showed corruption of various public servants, including three senior IRS officers.”