CBI detains Sandesara finance chief at airport

Vol 20, PW 25 (07 Sep 17) News in Brief

Beware of who reads your diary.

Ajay Panchal, general manager finance of the disgraced Gujarat-based Sandesara Group, learnt this the hard way when he was detained by the CBI on September 2 at Vadodara's Harni airport as he was preparing to board an airplane. Panchal was taken to the Delhi CBI headquarters for further questioning over his diary codenamed 'Diary 2011' in which he details bribes allegedly given to senior income tax officers.

On August 30, the CBI filed First Information Reports against three senior income tax officers named in the diary: principal commissioner for Guntur, Sunil Kumar Ojha; commissioner for Thane, Subhash Chandra; and commissioner for Ahmedabad, Manas Shankar Ray. Panchal's diary was seized six years ago during a massive raid on the Sandesaras and their Sterling group.

On August 5, financial crimes watchdog Enforcement Directorate again raided 11 premises of the group across India, investigating the suspicious sale of 20% in the company's Lagos-headquartered Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company.

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