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2 out of 7 employees of IL&FS held hostage in Ethiopia released

(Economic Times, MUMBAI: Two of the seven employees of IL&FS Transportation Networks Limited (ITNL) held hostage in Ethiopia over non-repayment of salaries to local have been released and are now in Addis Ababa.

In a statement the company said that IL&FS Group has been making all round efforts, in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India and the Indian Embassy in Addis Ababa, to ensure safe and early return of its employees.

On November 28, Neeraj Raghuwanshi, an employee of ITNL, a part of IL&FS Group had tweeted that seven employees, including himself, have been being kept hostage by the local labour and staff for the past four days due to non-payment of dues.

ITNL had sought approval on November 16, 2018, through its authorized dealer bank, to remit funds overseas, ILFS said in a statement. Approvals are awaited.

*As a result of collective and sustained engagement with various authorities, two of the seven employees have been allowed to move out of the camp and are now in Addis Ababa,* said IL&FS in a statement. “We continue to work towards resolving the situation and have been in touch with our employees in Ethiopia.”

ITNL through its subsidiary Elsamex SA has been executing projects across three sites in Ethiopia. Seven of its Indian employees, based at project camp sites, were not being allowed to leave their respective camp sites by the local community because of non-repayment of creditors and local salaries

Elsamex S.A., is a wholly owned subsidiary incorporated in Spain engaged in the business of maintenance of roads, buildings and petrol and gas stations. The gross revenue and net profit was Rs 961.82 crore and Rs 91.88 crore for the year ended December 31, 2017, according to the Annual Report.

Debt-laden IL&FS has been looking to sell stakes in subsidiaries to monetise and pare its debt. The infrastructure finance company has debt of Rs 91,000 crore. A newly appointed board is looking at ways to bring down debt and turnaround the company.

On Friday IL&FS Transportation Networks Limited’s shares fell 4.86% to Rs 15.65 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Top picture: Micro surfacing process shoot @ Thiruvananthapuram For IL & FS Transportation Networks Ltd

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