Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, the owner of Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech group and wanted by CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for allegedly involved in Rs 5,300-crore bank loan fraud, is believed to have left UAE. It is suspected that Nitin could have fled to Nigeria because India does not have an extradition treaty with this particular nation.
“What we have learnt is that he had been detained by authorities in the UAE for an offence related to local issues. The detention was not related to our case. He is not in the UAE anymore. We do not exactly know where he is. He has investments and companies from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. He could be anywhere,” an official involved with the investigation said.
“Since India does not have a Mutual Legal Assistence Treaty with Nigeria, bringing them back from the African country would be difficult,” added sources.
Sources said that following the news of Sandesara’s detention, the CBI had sent the request for provisional arrest, while the ED had sent a request for extradition through the Ministry of External Affairs. Agency sources said they had no information as to why the UAE did not honour the requests.
Meanwhile, efforts are on get Interpol red corner notices issued against the Sandesara. It is not known if the Sandesaras travelled to Nigeria on Indian passports or some other country’s document.
The investigating agencies CBI and ED have booked Vadodara-based Sterling Biotech, its directors Nitin, Chetan and Dipti Sandesara Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, former Andhra Bank director Anup Garg and unidentified persons for cheating banks of Rs 5,000 crore.