AirAsia on Monday said that it was investigating some of its former executives for “irregular personal expense claims”, days after former Tata group chairman Cyrus Mistry had alleged fraudulent transactions worth Rs 22 crore in the company’s accounts. AirAsia said that the investigation had already been reported to and discussed by the company’s board of its directors at their last meeting, PTI reported on Monday.
The carrier – a joint venture between India’s Tata Sons and Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad – said that it took all allegations of misappropriation and impropriety seriously and would take strict action against those found guilty of any charges. However, the company refused to specifically refer to the particulars of the investigation, saying that it could affect the inquiry. “The three entities [AirAsia, AirAsia Berhad and Tata Sons] would like to reiterate that they strictly adhere to internal procedures and policies,” a statement released by the company said.
In his letter to the board of Tata Sons, written a day after he was removed as group chairman, Mistry said that forensic investigations of AirAsia’s accounts had revealed the fraudulent transactions. Mistry had said the expenses involved non-existent entities in India and Singapore. The central government has said that it is monitoring the developments in the matter.
Mistry also accused the board of “wrongful dismissal” and said that the conglomerate faced $18 billion (Rs 1.15 lakh crore) in write downs or reduction in value of assets. On October 24, the board decided to push Mistry out after a massive fallout, with Tata’s shares falling and the company anticipating legal action by the former executive. Ratan Tata has taken over Mistry’s post temporarily, the company said.