Mumbai, Jul 28 (IANS): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday started searches at some nine places in connection with a money laundering probe against the GVK group, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) and others for alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 705 crore in the running of the airport.
Top ED sources said that the financial probe agency was carrying out searches at several locations in Mumbai and Hyderabad and other locations. However, it remained tight-lipped when asked about whose premises it raided.
The source said that the ED team has filed the case of money laundering on the basis of the CBI FIR registered against Gunupati Venkata Krishna Reddy, the Chairman of the GVK Group of Companies and his son G.V. Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director of MIAL among others.
The source said ED has received the documents from the CBI after it carried out searches at several locations in Hyderabad and Mumbai earlier this month. The source also claimed that the ED has recovered several documents during the searches.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its FIR claimed that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) had formed a joint venture with the GVK Airports Holdings Limited, promoted by the GVK group under public private partnership firm MIAL for upgradation and maintenance of the Mumbai Airport.
The CBI FIR also said that on April 4, 2006 the AAI entered into an agreement with MIAL for modernisation, upkeep, operation and maintenance of the Mumbai airport with MIAL.
"It is alleged that the promoters of the GVK group in MIAL in connivance with their executives and unidentified officials of the AAI resorted to siphoning of funds using different means," officials said.
The MIAL is a joint venture of the GVK Group, Airport Authority of India and a few foreign entities.