The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned senior executives of Air Asia, including CEO Tony Fernandes, for questioning in connection with a money laundering case, officials said on Thursday.
The agency had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the airline and its officials in 2018. Officials said while Fernandes has been summoned on January 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 the airline tried to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get international licence for its Indian venture Air Asia India Limited.
The ED case was registered after the CBI filed an FIR to probe these allegations. The ED is also probing this case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Investigation in the case was initiated on the basis of the claims of ousted Tata Group chairman,Mr. 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 Group CEO of Air Asia Fernandes, Tharumalingam Kanagalingam also known as Bo Lingam, former Deputy Group CEO of Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, and R Venkataramanan, Director Air Asia India Ltd, Bengaluru, besides companies Air Asia India Pvt Ltd and Air Asia Berhad.
The allegation pertains to Air Asia officials and others allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get international licence for its Indian venture Air Asia India Limited.