AirAsia Money Laundering Case: ED Summons CEO Tony Fernandes For Questioning
Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of AirAsia Group Bhd, speaks during the Rise conference in Hong Kong, China, on July 9, 2019. (Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg)

AirAsia Money Laundering Case: ED Summons CEO Tony Fernandes For Questioning

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The Enforcement Directorate has summoned senior executives of AirAsia Group Bhd, including Chief Executive Officer 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, 2002, against the airline and its officials in 2018. Officials said while Fernandes has been summoned on Jan. 20, 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 Ltd.

The ED case was registered after the Central Bureau of Investigation 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 in 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 former AirAsia India Ltd. Director R Venkataramanan, besides 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 AirAsia India.

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