Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani today appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case. Earlier this week, the investigation agency had issued summons against Mr Ambani for being connected into the crisis-hit Yes Bank. Money-laundering and bribery cases have been filed by both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Yes Bank’s founder Rana Kapoor. He was also summoned by the ED.
The 60-year-old Mr Ambani delayed the summon citing health issues. The agency accepted his request and asked him to appear before it on Thursday by 11 am. However, the ED is likely to record the statement of him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED alleges that Ambani’s nine group companies took loans worth Rs 12,800 crore from the crisis-ridden Yes bank.
The ED is trying to identify all the big borrowers of the bank and the stressed loans sanctioned during Rana Kapoor’s tenure. The agency also seeks to figure out the disbursement of the loans. To do so, the questioning of Anil Ambani is very crucial as Reliance Group accounted for a significant portion of its loans. The Reliance Group denied in a statement last week, any connection with Rana Kapoor.
“Reliance Group states 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. Reliance Group says its entire exposure to Yes Bank is fully secured and transacted in the ordinary course of business,” the statement read.
“The Reliance Group is committed to honour repayments of all its borrowings from Yes Bank Ltd through its various asset monetisation programmes which are all at advanced stages,” the statement added.
The ED is also probing a transaction worth Rs 3700 crore between DHFL and Yes Bank. DHFL promoters Dheeraj Wadhawan and Kapil Wadhawan refused to appear before the ED citing health risks due to coronavirus. Besides, Reliance Group and DHFL, 16 other corporate houses including Essel Group and Jet Airways will also be facing charges.