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Mumbai, March 21, 2020
Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra, who earlier skipped the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons in the money laundering probe against Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor and others, was questioned by the agency here on Saturday.
A senior ED official said that Chandra, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, appeared before the agency in connection with the case and was questioned about his group's loans.
The official said that Chandra's statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Chandra arrived at the ED office at Ballard Estate at about 11 a.m. and was questioned for several hours.
The Essel Group said in a statement that Chandra visited the ED office in Mumbai and answered all the queries of the officials to the best of his abilities. "He offered complete co-operation in the future as well," the statement said.
The Essel Group also clarified that Chandra did not leave the ED office before completing the entire set of interaction with the officials, neither did he cite any reason or excuse to leave early.
The official said that besides Chandra, former Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal was also questioned by the ED in connection with a separate money laundering case linked to the alleged financial fraud with a Mumbai-based tours and travel company.
The official said that Goyal has been asked to appear before the agency in connection with the Yes Bank case later. Earlier Goyal had also skipped the ED summons, citing personal reasons.
According to ED officials, promoters of crisis-hit DHFL, Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, had also skipped ED summons in connection with the money laundering probe against Kapoor citing the COVID-19 threat for their non-appearance.
The ED has summoned the borrowers as part of its probe into the stressed loans sanctioned during the tenure of Rana Kapoor.
The CBI and ED began a probe into the short-term debentures of the DHFL in which Yes Bank had invested Rs 3,700 crore from April to June 2018. The probe is part of another investigation pertaining to Yes Bank's purchase of debentures from DHFL against which the company was granted loans totalling Rs 600 crore against a collateral security of around Rs 40 crore only. The loan amount later turned into non-performing asset (NPA).
It was alleged that DHFL's promoter Kapil Wadhawan simultaneously paid kickbacks totalling Rs 600 crore to the Kapoors in the form of a loan of a similar amount to DoIT Urban Ventures, a venture owned by Rana Kapoor's daughters -- Rakhee Kapoor Tandon, Roshni Kapoor and Radha Kapoor.
It was also alleged that Yes Bank did not initiate action to recover the loans extended to DHFL. The ED arrested Rana Kapoor on March 8 after several hours of questioning and he was sent to ED custody till March 20.
One of Rana Kapoor's daughters was stopped from boarding a flight to London by immigration department officials at the Mumbai airport.
Last Friday, the CBI registered a fresh case against Rana Kapoor, his wife Bindu Kapoor and Avantha Realty Promoter Gautam Thapar in a fresh case involving the crisis-hit bank. The ED also registered a fresh case of money laundering against Kapoor and his wife on Tuesday.