New Delhi/Mumbai: Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) later this week in connection with its money laundering probe against Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and others, officials said on Monday.
They said Ambani was first asked to depose at the ED office in the Ballard Estate area of Mumbai on Monday, as his group companies are among the big entities whose loans allegedly went bad after borrowing from the crisis-hit bank.
The officials said Ambani, 60, sought exemption from appearance on some personal grounds. He has now been asked to appear on March 19, they said. The Reliance Group had last week said in a statement that its entire debt from Yes Bank was fully secured and was availed in the ordinary course of business.
“Reliance Group is committed to honouring repayments of all its borrowings from Yes Bank Ltd through its various asset monetisation programmes which are all at advanced stages,” the statement had said. The Group stated that it has “nil direct or indirect exposure to Rana Kapoor, former CEO of Yes Bank, or his wife or daughters, or any entities controlled by Rana Kapoor or his family.”
Ambani’s nine group companies are stated to have taken loans of about Rs 12,800 crore from the bank.
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.
Officials said promoters of all the big companies who had taken large loans from the beleaguered bank, which later turned bad or were in the red, are being summoned for questioning in the case to take the investigation forward. Ambani’s statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) upon deposition, they said.
Kapoor, 62, is at present in ED custody after he was arrested by the central probe agency early this month. The banker, seen wearing a surgical mask, was taken for a medical checkup by ED officials in Mumbai on Monday noon before producing him before a local court on expiry of custody. His custody has been extended till March 20.
The ED has accused Kapoor, his family members and others of laundering “proceeds of crime” worth Rs 4,300 crore by receiving alleged kickbacks in lieu of extending big loans through their bank that later allegedly turned non-performing asset (NPA).