ED summons AirAsia management in 2018 money laundering probe
It is alleged that Air Asia had connived with government officials to secure Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance.Updated: Jan 16, 2020 12:54 IST
The Enforcement Directorate issued summons to AirAsia’s senior management, including Malaysia-based CEO Tony Fernandes, on Thursday in connection with a money laundering probe that began in May 2018.
It is alleged that AirAsia had connived with government officials to secure Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had started a corruption probe in the matter on the basis of which ED registered its case under PMLA.
The CBI has claimed that AirAsia used lobbyists to get the ‘5/20’ rule for operating international flights removed or amended before the 2014 general elections. Under the ‘5/20’ scheme, a domestic airline was allowed to fly overseas only after completing five years of domestic operations with a fleet of at least 20 aircraft.
“Tony Fernandes wanted the airline to be able to fly internationally from day one and their local Indian partner - Tata Sons Ltd through their nominee R Venkatramanan - would lobby to get all government approvals including the then FIPB clearance and amendment/removal of 5/20 rule of Indian international civil aviation,” the CBI said in its FIR.