The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned officials of AirAsia under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) over its Rs 12 crore transaction with Singapore-based HNR Trading, said official sources Wednesday. “The summons were issued last week. The agency has registered a case under FEMA to probe payment of over Rs 12 crore to Singapore-based HNR Trading,” said a source.
The probe agency has alleged that the payment was made to HNR Trading for consultancy services but there is no “proper” agreement for the transaction and the nature of the service provided is not known. “We have not received any official communication yet. If and when we do, the company will take appropriate steps,” said the official spokesperson of AirAsia.
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Two days after Cyrus Mistry was removed as the Chairman of Tata Sons on October 24, he alleged Rs 22 crore worth fraudulent transactions at AirAsia India. AirAsia India is a joint venture between Tata which own 51 per cent stake, and Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad. Mistry in an email to Tata Sons Board raised “ethical concerns” in AirAsia India and alleged that forensic investigation revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore involving non-existent entities in India and Singapore.
“Board members and trustees are also aware that in the case of AirAsia, ethical concerns have been raised with respect to certain transactions as well as the overall prevailing culture within the organization. A recent forensic investigation revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs. 22 crores involving non-existent parties in India and Singapore. Executive Trustee, Mr.Venkatraman, who is on the board of Air Asia 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 submitted his resignation, that the board decided to belatedly file a first information report,” said Mistry in his email.
Subsequently, the Civil Aviation Ministry said it is keeping a close watch on developments related to the purported disclosures made by ousted Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry about AirAsia India, and will act if something actionable is brought to its notice.