Top corporate honchos, including Essel Group promoter Subhash Chandra, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and Indiabulls chairman Sameer Gehlaut have been summoned to appear before it for questioning this week in connection with its money laundering probe against Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and others, officials said on Monday. Called for questioning again were Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani, who has been asked to depose on March 19 at the agency office at Ballard Estate in Mumbai and also DHFL CMD, Kapil Wadhawan, who was recently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in another case and later released on bail. After the Reserve Bank imposed a moratorium on Yes Bank, restricting withdrawals to Rs 50,000 per depositor, the agency took up the money laundering case against Kapoor.
Kapoor, his family members and others have been accused of laundering proceeds of crime worth Rs 4,300 crore through receipt of kickbacks in lieu of extending big loans through their bank that later allegedly turned non-performing asset (NPA). Meanwhile, the Reliance Group had last week said in a statement that its entire debt from the bank was fully secured and was availed in the ordinary course of business as the group claimed to have no exposure to Rana Kapoor, his family or entities controlled by Kapoor. However, Ambani’s nine group companies are stated to have taken loans of about Rs 12,800 crore from the bank. The ED, officials said, wants to take the probe into the case forward and hence the questioning and recording of statements of these business heads under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) are essential. While Essel Group has an alleged unpaid loan of Rs 8,400 crore towards Yes Bank, DHFL (Dewan Housing Finance Limited) has an amount of about 3,700 crores. Jet Airways loan amount is stated to be about Rs 550 crore, they said. The founder of the airlines, Goyal, is already being probed by the ED in another money laundering and foreign exchange violations case.
Indiabulls is also being probed for a similar case and the mortgaging of a tony property in Delhi to its housing finance branch for a loan of Rs 685 crore as part of an alleged dubious deal. Gautam Thapar who is Avantha Group promoter alongside present and past executives of Yes Bank was also summoned by ED in connection with the case as former CEO Ravneet Gill was grilled a few days back. ED officials also said some other businessmen whose companies had secured loan from the bank would be summoned for questioning. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had told a press conference on March 6 that the Anil Ambani Group, Essel, ILFS, DHFL and Vodafone were among the stressed corporates Yes Bank had exposure to. Rana Kapoor, 62, was on Monday again sent to the ED custody till March 20 by a Mumbai court.