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ED questions Anil Ambani for nine hours; Subhash Chandra called again

Mumbai: Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani was questioned by the ED for about nine hours on Thursday in connection with a money-laundering probe against Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and others, officials said.

The industrialist was called again for a similar round of grilling on March 30.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recorded the statement of Ambani (60) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), after he appeared at the central agency's office in Ballard Estate here at around 9:30 am, the officials said, adding that he left the ED office around 7 pm.

Ambani was not able to provide much information about the transactions with Yes Bank, along with certain other details of his group companies, as he said he did not remember the details, the officials said.

Hence, they said, he was asked to come prepared with documents and information on March 30. A Reliance Group spokesperson said Ambani met ED officials "to clarify on the group's exposure to Yes Bank".

"He reiterated that the Reliance Group's entire exposure to Yes Bank is fully secured and transacted in the ordinary course of business. All transactions between the Reliance Group and Yes Bank are in compliance with law and financial regulations," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"Mr Ambani also clarified to the agency that the Reliance Group has no direct or indirect exposure to Mr Rana Kapoor or his wife or daughters, or any entities controlled by Mr Rana Kapoor or his family," the spokesperson added.

The Reliance Group was committed to honouring the repayments of all its borrowings from Yes Bank through its various asset monetisation programmes, the statement said.

Ambani, it added, had "assured (ED officials) that the Reliance Group will continue to extend its full support and cooperation to all authorities".

Ambani's nine group companies that are reportedly under "stress" are stated to have taken loans adding up to about Rs 12,800 crore from the crisis-ridden bank.

On March 6, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told a press conference that the Anil Ambani Group, Essel, ILFS, DHFL and Vodafone were among the stressed corporates Yes Bank had an exposure to.

The officials said Peter Kerkar of Cox & Kings was also questioned on Thursday.

The agency has also sent a second summons to Essel Group chairman and Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra to appear before it on March 21.

Chandra was supposed to appear before the agency on March 18, but skipped it saying he was occupied in the ongoing Parliament session.

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