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AirAsia India says probing fraudulent claims

by October 31, 2016 General

Bengaluru, Oct 31 (IANS) Budget carrier AirAsia India Ltd, in which embattled Tata Sons holds a majority stake, on Monday said investigation was on against some of its former personnel involving personal expense claims and certain company charges.

“There is an ongoing investigation against certain former personnel of AirAsia (India) Ltd. involving irregular personal expense claims and certain company charges,” said the joint venture in a statement here.

The airline’s statement came six days after Tata Sons’ ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry on October 25 alleged that forensic investigation revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore involving non-existent entities in India and Singapore.

In the $30-million joint venture, Tata Sons Ltd. holds 51 per cent equity stake and AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia holds the balance 49 per cent.

“We will not make any specific reference to the matters (being) investigated at this stage as it may be prejudicial to us or the personnel investigated,” said the airline statement.

Noting that the holding entities view all allegations of impropriety and misappropriation very seriously, the airline said they (entities) did not approve of any unethical practices and will take very stern action against the perpetrators at all levels of the organisation.

“The three entities (AirAsia India, AirAsia Berhad and Tata Sons) would like to reiterate that they strictly adhere to internal procedures and policies,” added the statement.

In a letter to Tata Sons Board members, Mistry claimed that a first information report was also filed by the holding company (Tata Sons) at the insistence of the independent directors against the illegal transactions.

The low-cost airline, which commenced its operations in June 2014 from Bengaluru, claimed to have flown three million passengers across the country over the last two years.