ED Booked A Case Under Money Laundering Act In Mumbai Airport Scam
Enforcement Directorate filed a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act against GVK Group, it’s chairman Dr GVK Reddy, Sanjay Reddy, officials of Airport Authority of India Limited and the Mumbai International Airport Limited.
Five days back, the Central Bureau of Investigation had initiated a criminal case under sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act. The agency had also carried out searches in Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Sources in the ED said they will look specifically into how money was illegally laundered and siphoned off.
During the preliminary investigation, it was found that connivance of AAI officials and GVK Group which ran MIAL led to wrongful loss of Rs 805 crores.
Sources who are aware of the probe said that the total loss could be much higher. “Only after going through the book of audits between 2012-18 that the exact figure of total loss can be ascertained,” said an ED official.
On 2nd July, the MIAL issued a statement and denied any wrongdoings. “MIAL is surprised to note the registration of the case by CBI against MIAL and others. MIAL is a transparent and responsible corporate entity which is committed to cooperating with the agency in its investigation to arrive at the truth,” MIAL said in a statement.
Mumbai’s International airport is among the busiest airports of the world. In 2006 AAI signed a joint venture with GVK group and MIAL was formed.
The government had decided to bring in a private player to modernise, overhaul, upgrade the operations and maintenance of big airports in the country.
As per the agreement, the revenue share has to be given first to AAI and then MIAL will use the rest of the revenue for upgradation.
In its FIR, the CBI has alleged that premium retail areas of Mumbai airport were given to family members at exorbitantly low rates thus reducing the revenue of MIAL
It has been found that there was siphoning off funds by showing bogus completion of work, surplus and reserve funds of MIAL was misused, the expenditure of MIAL was inflated by diverting funds and under-reporting of MIAL’s revenue earnings.
It has also been alleged that AAI gave 200 acres of underdeveloped land to GVK for redevelopment. Instead of issuing tenders, MIAL entered into a bogus contract with companies and siphoned off Rs 300 crores.