"No drama... not a flight risk" - ex-BharatPe CEO Ashneer Grover declared on X a day after his wife, Madhuri Jain, and he were stopped from boarding an international flight departing Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. Immigration officials blocked Mr Grover's departure, and that of his wife, to New York on the basis of a lookout circular, or LoC, issued by Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing.
Mr Grover laughed off the "strange" situation and pointed out that he had travelled abroad (and returned) four times since the EoW filed its case in May; the FIR, which names his wife and other members of his family, lists charges like criminal conspiracy and breach of trust, and forgery.
"Kya chal raha hai India mein? Filhaal toh 'Ashneer stopped at airport' chal raha hai, janab (What's happening in India? At present, 'Ashneer stopped at airport' is trending, sir," Mr Grover wrote on X.
The former BharatPe boss said he was boarding a flight to the United States when stopped.
1. I had not received any communication or summon from EoW since FIR in May, till 8 am today (November 17)... 7 hours after returning from airport.
2. I was going to the US from 16-23 November.
3. At immigration, they said, 'LoC laga hua hai sir - EOW se check kar ke batate hai (There is a LoC, sir... we will check with EoW and let you know)'.
4. I found it strange as (I) have travelled four times internationally since (the) FIR (was) filed in May - (there has) never been a problem... I had not even been summoned once.
5. Flight left in meantime anyways; EoW folks directed Immigration to let us out so we can return home
6. Today morning, EoW summon was home delivered - will cooperate as always."
Mr Grover, who seemed to be having quite a chuckle over the whole incident, continued, "No drama. LOC hatane ka process hai - I am not a flight risk - easy to prove (No drama. There is a process to remove the LoC... I am not a flight risk, this is easy to prove)."
"Baaki aapko jo chhaapna hai chhaapo. Picture chal rahi hai free mein - maze lo! (Whatever else you want to print, print... the picture is playing for free - enjoy!)" the under-fire businessman said.
The entrepreneur, who now runs CrickPe, a fantasy sports app - finished on a defiant note; "Baaki premature obituaries bahut baari log likh chuke hai - 'Jatt mareya tad maniye jad terami howe' (Don't pronounce me dead till 13 days after you've burned me at the pyre!)," he said.
The investigation into alleged fraud at BharatPe has uncovered unexplained payments allegedly made to HR firms by Mr Grover, his wife and other members of their family, sources told NDTV Wednesday.
READ | BharatPe Ex-CEO Ashneer Grover, Family Made Fake Multi-Crore Invoices: Sources
The accused allegedly used backdated invoices to move funds from BharatPe's accounts for payment of commissions for recruitment work, a status report filed by the EOW in the Delhi High Court stated.
Rs 7.6 crore was paid to the allegedly fake firms. Rs 1.66 crore was paid as a penalty to Goods and Services Tax authorities. Rs 71.76 crore was allegedly siphoned off via other fictitious transactions.
If convicted, the accused could face a jail term from 10 years to life imprisonment.
Reacting to this, Mr Grover said he would be the "last man standing" after his critics faded away.
READ | "Will Be Last Man Standing": Ashneer Grover On Fake Invoices Charge
Mr Grover's wife, Madhuri Jain, is the former head of controls at BharatPe. She was fired last year. Mr Grover, who shot to fame as one of the 'sharks' on Shark Tank India, resigned as CEO soon after.
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