From Gujarat to Albania and Nigeria, How the Sandesara Business Family Evaded Justice

On a mild afternoon in March 2019, one of India’s most ostentatiously wealthy families prepared to board their private jet at Albania’s Tirana International Airport.

The Sandesaras had been on the run since 2017, when authorities in their home country accused them of defrauding local banks out of loans worth over $700 million. 

That morning, the family’s troubles deepened when Albanian media broke the news that, despite their fugitive status, they had been allowed to invest large sums of money in construction projects across the country.

But none of this kept them from breezing through customs. Brandishing fresh Albanian passports they had been awarded by President Ilir Meta, three members of the family — Chetankumar Sandesara, his wife Diptiben, and his older brother Nitin — boarded their jet at about 5 pm.

Only Diptiben’s brother Hiteshkumar Patel, who was traveling on an Indian passport, was held back, although Interpol “red notices” had been issued for all four…

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