INDIA’S Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned senior executives of AirAsia Group Bhd, including CEO Tony Fernandes, for questioning in connection with a money laundering case, officials said on Thursday (Jan 16).

The agency had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, against the airline and its officials in 2018. Officials said while Fernandes had been summoned on Jan 20, a few others have also been asked to depose for questioning in the following days.

The fresh summons have been issued to take the probe forward, officials said.

The ED probe is related to allegations that AirAsia officials and others tried to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get an international licence for its Indian venture Air Asia India.

The ED case was registered after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a First Investigation Report to probe these allegations. The investigating agency is also probing this case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

Investigations into the AirAsia money laundering case was initiated on the basis of the claims of ousted Tata Group 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.

The CBI and ED, in their criminal FIRs, had booked Fernandes, AirAsia’s former deputy group CEO Bo Lingam and AirAsia India director R Venkataramanan, besides Air Asia India Pvt Ltd and AirAsia Bhd. – Jan 16, 2020, Bloomberg



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