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ED questions AirAsia India's finance head in forex case

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by December 25, 2016 General

Cyrus Mistry alleged fraudulent transactions of worth Rs 22 crore

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has questioned AirAsia India’s chief financial officer (CFO) in Mumbai in connection with an alleged foreign exchange violation case.


The ED is probing ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry’s allegation that fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore, involving non-existent entities in India and Singapore, were carried out in an instance involving the airline.


Officials said the CFO, Ankur Khanna, was questioned by the investigating officer in the case earlier this week and his statement was recorded under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.




The ED had earlier issued summons to the airline and its officials for relevant documents and to explain the matter to investigators as part of the probe. They added that the CFO could be called for questioning again.


The ED is also looking at a specific transaction of Rs 12 crore, out of Rs 22 crore, made to a Singaporean firm.


In October, flagging “ethical concerns” in Tata Group’s joint venture with AirAsia, Mistry claimed a forensic investigation had revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore involving non-existent entities in India and Singapore.


As a war plays out between Mistry and Tata Group’s interim Chairman Ratan Tata, the former had alleged that due to the latter’s passion for aviation, the Board increased capital infusion into the aviation sector at multiple levels of the initial commitment.


In a letter written to the Board members of a day after he was ousted on October 24, Mistry said, “Board members and trustees are also aware that in the case of Air Asia, ethical concerns have been raised with respect to certain transactions, as well as overall prevailing culture within the organisation. A recent forensic investigation revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore involving non-existent parties in India and Singapore.”


Mistry went on to allege that executive trustee Mr Venkataraman, who is on the board of AirAsia and also a shareholder in the company, considered these transactions as non-material and did not encourage further study. 


It was only at the insistence of the independent directors, one of whom immediately gave his resignation, that the board decided to belatedly file a FIR, Mistry had said in the letter.


He claimed it was Tata who had completed negotiations with AirAsia, but early in his tenure as the chairman of he (Mistry) was asked to table a proposal for the joint venture with AirAsia at a board meeting.


In 2013, had joined hands with Malaysian carrier AirAsia and Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace to start low-cost carrier AirAsia India. The carrier had to wait for nine months before taking off.

ED questions AirAsia India’s finance head in forex case

Cyrus Mistry alleged fraudulent transactions of worth Rs 22 crore

Cyrus Mistry alleged fraudulent transactions of worth Rs 22 crore

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has questioned AirAsia India’s chief financial officer (CFO) in Mumbai in connection with an alleged foreign exchange violation case.


The ED is probing ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry’s allegation that fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore, involving non-existent entities in India and Singapore, were carried out in an instance involving the airline.


Officials said the CFO, Ankur Khanna, was questioned by the investigating officer in the case earlier this week and his statement was recorded under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.



The ED had earlier issued summons to the airline and its officials for relevant documents and to explain the matter to investigators as part of the probe. They added that the CFO could be called for questioning again.


The ED is also looking at a specific transaction of Rs 12 crore, out of Rs 22 crore, made to a Singaporean firm.


In October, flagging “ethical concerns” in Tata Group’s joint venture with AirAsia, Mistry claimed a forensic investigation had revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore involving non-existent entities in India and Singapore.


As a war plays out between Mistry and Tata Group’s interim Chairman Ratan Tata, the former had alleged that due to the latter’s passion for aviation, the Board increased capital infusion into the aviation sector at multiple levels of the initial commitment.


In a letter written to the Board members of a day after he was ousted on October 24, Mistry said, “Board members and trustees are also aware that in the case of Air Asia, ethical concerns have been raised with respect to certain transactions, as well as overall prevailing culture within the organisation. A recent forensic investigation revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore involving non-existent parties in India and Singapore.”


Mistry went on to allege that executive trustee Mr Venkataraman, who is on the board of AirAsia and also a shareholder in the company, considered these transactions as non-material and did not encourage further study. 


It was only at the insistence of the independent directors, one of whom immediately gave his resignation, that the board decided to belatedly file a FIR, Mistry had said in the letter.


He claimed it was Tata who had completed negotiations with AirAsia, but early in his tenure as the chairman of he (Mistry) was asked to table a proposal for the joint venture with AirAsia at a board meeting.


In 2013, had joined hands with Malaysian carrier AirAsia and Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace to start low-cost carrier AirAsia India. The carrier had to wait for nine months before taking off.

image

Press Trust of India

Business Standard

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