Reliance Group chairperson Anil Ambani on Monday was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case against Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor for alleged bank loans to the scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Limited, PTI reported. Reliance is one of the largest borrowers from the crisis-hit bank, with bad loans worth Rs 14,000 crore.
Ambani, who was asked to depose at the agency’s office in Mumbai on Monday, has filed an adjournment application seeking more time to appear on account of his health condition. At the time of deposition, Ambani’s statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, an unidentified Enforcement Directorate official told PTI.
Last week, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Ambani’s Reliance Group was among the 10 large stressed corporate groups that had borrowed from Yes Bank accounting to bad loans worth Rs 34,000 crore. The Reliance Group, along with Essel, ILFS, DHFL and Vodafone have the biggest share of the loans, she added. Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of India had placed Yes Bank under a moratorium and took over its board.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ambani, however, clarified that all the loans Reliance had taken from crisis-hit Yes Bank were “fully secured” and had been taken out in the ordinary course of business. The company added it has no “direct or indirect exposure” to Kapoor or any entities controlled by his family, and that it is committed to honouring all loan repayments.
“…Entire exposure to Yes Bank is fully secured and transacted in the ordinary course of business. Reliance Group is committed to honor repayments of all its borrowings from YBL through its various asset monetization programmes which are all at advanced stages,” the company’s statement had noted.
Kapoor is currently under the custody of the Enforcement Directorate after he was charged with laundering money last month.
The Enforcement Directorate is mainly investigating Kapoor, his wife, and their three daughters over a Rs 600 crore fund received by a company allegedly “controlled” by them from an entity associated with the scam-hit DHFL. The firm, DoIT Urban Ventures Private Limited, allegedly received the funds when Yes Bank had a exposure of over Rs 3,000 crore loans to the housing finance company that were already being investigated for financial irregularities.
The central agency’s officials claimed the bank did not begin to recover the non-performing assets-tuned loans from DHFL, adding that the Rs 600 were funds part of alleged kickbacks received in exchange.