ED files money laundering cases into Air India deals inked during UPA tenure

New Delhi: In recent bother for embattled state-run service Air India, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a number of felony instances to probe allegations of irregularities and cash laundering in at the very least 4 offers signed in the course of the UPA rule together with the controversial merger of Air India and Indian Airways.

The company has filed at the very least 4 Enforcement Case Data Reviews (ECIRs), the ED equal of a police FIR, officers instructed PTI Friday.

The ECIRs have been registered underneath the Prevention of Cash Laundering Act.

The ED, they mentioned, has obtained related paperwork from the airways and different departments in reference to the instances which have been termed “politically delicate”.

The officers mentioned the company will probe a selected angle to establish if the alleged irregularities led to the technology of black cash and if it was laundered to create unlawful belongings by the accused.

Representational picture. Reuters

These ED instances are based mostly on 4 CBI FIRs.

Two instances are associated to the controversial merger of Air India and Indian Airways and alleged irregularities in buy and leasing of plane by the 2 state-run carriers underneath the UPA authorities which induced “big” losses to the exchequer, based on the CBI.

The opposite two instances relate to give up of worthwhile routes and timings of Air India to favour nationwide and worldwide non-public gamers which allegedly induced a “big” loss to the state-run service and alleged wrongdoing within the buy of software program for the airline.

It’s anticipated that the ED will quickly situation summons to some officers and others concerned, asking them to look earlier than it.

The CBI had registered instances in opposition to unidentified officers of Air India, Ministry of Civil Aviation and others on costs of felony conspiracy, dishonest and corruption.

Whereas registering the instances, the CBI had final 12 months mentioned that these situations “relate to selections take the ministry in the course of the UPA tenure which induced losses of tens of 1000’s of crore of rupees to the exchequer.”

The allegations relate to buy of 111 plane, costing about Rs 70,000 crore, for nationwide airways to learn international plane producers.

“Such a purchase order induced an alleged monetary loss to the already confused nationwide carriers,” the CBI had alleged.

The CAG had in 2011 questioned the rationale behind the federal government’s choice to order 111 airplanes — 48 from Airbus and 68 from Boeing — for AI and Indian Airways for about Rs 70,000 crore in 2006.

Calling the choice a “recipe for catastrophe”, the federal government auditor had mentioned it ought to have raised “alarm” within the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Public Funding Board and
the Planning Fee.

The opposite case pertains to leasing of numerous plane with out due consideration, correct route examine and advertising and marketing or value technique, the CBI had mentioned.

“It was additionally alleged that the plane had been leased even whereas plane acquisition programme was happening,” it mentioned.

One other case entails allegations of give up of worthwhile routes and timings of Air India to favour nationwide and worldwide non-public gamers which allegedly induced a “big” loss to the state-run service.

The final CBI case was filed in opposition to unknown officers of Air India, German agency SAP AG and world pc main IBM in reference to alleged irregularities
in procurement of software program value Rs 225 crore by the nationwide service in 2011.

This case was filed by the CBI on the advice of the Central Vigilance Fee (CVC) which discovered prima facie procedural irregularities came about within the procurement of the software program.

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