ED Raids GVK Group Offices In Connection To The Mumbai Airport Scam

The GVK Group's chairman and his son have been accused of committing fraud of ₹705 crores in the Mumbai Airport scam.

ED Raids GVK Group Offices In Connection To The Mumbai Airport Scam

On Tuesday, the Enforcement Department (ED) carried out raids at the GVK Group's offices in Mumbai and Hyderabad. The searches were conducted in connection with an alleged Mumbai Airport money laundering fraud worth ₹705 crore, against the promoters of the GVK Groups, officials of the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), and a few other unknown entities. The searches were carried out at the office of the MIAL as well, which is the joint venture of the GVK Group running the airport.

In the first week of July, the ED had registered a case against the said accused under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), on the basis of an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on June 27. The FIR named 13 people including Venkata Krishna Reddy Gunupati, the chairman of the GVK Group and his son G V Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director of the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL). A case of fraud, cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Prevention of Corruption Act,1988 was filed against them.

The CBI had also stated that the GVK group assembled this scam with their immediate family members, relatives and employees where they assigned the premium retail areas of Mumbai airport to their family members at rates that are extremely low which has led to the reduction in the revenue of the MIAL on account of rentals and sales.

The GVK group had entered into a partnership with a company which was owned by relatives, family members and employees, which also used up funds of the MIAL, further booking a train, air travel tickets and hotel booking for personal interest as well as for group employees of the GVK who were not related to the MIAL. Currently, the agency has estimated the loss to be around ₹705 crores, however, officials had earlier allegedly claimed that the actual figure could be much higher and may go over a few more hundred crores. This has come as a shock to many with the GVK Group being a respectable company.

The CBI has also alleged that the MIAL got into bogus work contracts during the period of 2017-18, with nine companies to develop real estate on the undeveloped land around the airport.