Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Probe on into Rs.22 crore fraud, says AirAsia India

Facing serious charge of fraudulent transactions worth Rs.22 crore levelled by recently-ousted Tata group chairman Cyrus Mistry, Air Asia India said on Monday that a probe was underway into irregular claims of personal expenses and certain company charges against former personnel of the Tata group’s aviation venture with Malaysia-based carrier Air Asia Berhad.

These irregularities had already been reported to the Air Asia Board and discussed in its last meeting, the company said, adding that neither the domestic airline, nor Tata Sons or Air Asia Berhad condoned any sort of unethical practices and the three entities would take ‘very stern’ action against ‘perpetrators at all levels of the organisation.’

AirAsia India is a joint venture between Tata Sons, with a 51 per cent stake, and AirAsia Berhad which has a 49 per cent stake. “AirAsia (India) Limited, AirAsia Berhad and Tata Sons Limited look into all allegations of impropriety and misappropriation very seriously... The three entities would like to reiterate that they strictly adhere to internal procedures and policies,” the company stated.

After his abrupt exit from the helm of the Tata group last Monday, Mr.Mistry had informed Tata Sons’ board members that a recent forensic investigation had “revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs.22 crore involving non-existent parties in India and Singapore” related to Air Asia India. He had also said that a First Information Report (FIR) was filed by the Tata Sons board only at the insistence of the independent directors, one of whom immediately submitted his resignation.

Without linking its statement to Mr.Mistry’s specific allegation, the airline said that “there is an ongoing investigation against certain former personnel of AirAsia (India) Limited involving irregular personal expense claims and certain company charges.”

It, however, refused to divulge any more details. “AirAsia (India) Limited will not make any specific reference to the matters investigated at this stage as it may be prejudicial to AirAsia (India) Limited or the personnel investigated... AirAsia (India) Limited, AirAsia Berhad and Tata Sons Limited look into all allegations of impropriety and misappropriation very seriously,” it stated.
01/11/16 The Hindu

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