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Money Laundering Case: Court Issues Fresh Warrant Against Vijay Mallya

Mumbai: A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Mumbai today issued a fresh non-bailable arrest warrant (NBW) against fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya in connection with a money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged bank loan fraud.

“The court has taken cognisance of the ED chargesheet filed on June 14, 2017 and issued a NBW against Mallya,” Special ED counsel Hiten Venegoankar said.

The ED had filed its charge sheet against Mr Mallya and eight others in connection with its money laundering probe into the about Rs. 900 crore IDBI-KFA bank loan case.

The court issued the fresh NBW at ED’s request after the anti-money laundering agency submitted that Mr Mallya is in the UK and has failed to appear before it on previous occasions too.

The 57-page charge sheet or prosecution complaint by the ED, with voluminous annexures, was filed under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

A total of nine accused have been named in the charge sheet including Mr Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), United Breweries (Holding) Limited, senior employees and executives of the now defunct airline and the IDBI bank.

The agency, in the charge sheet, had called Mr Mallya the “prime mover of the entire plot” and described how funds obtained from the bank as loan were allegedly diverted by the beleaguered businessman to the Formula-1 car racing event abroad. Mr Mallya owns Formula 1 team named Force India.

It had also mentioned the role of other officials and executives of KFA and IDBI bank in this deal. The agency also had described how over Rs. 400 crore was moved abroad in alleged violation of rules.

The investigations conducted by the ED, it said, had found that Mr Mallya, KFA along with IDBI bank officials “criminally conspired to obtain funds to the tune of Rs. 860.92 crore despite weak financials, negative net worth, non- compliance of corporate credit policy of new client, non- quality collateral security and low credit rating of the borrower.”

It said Rs. 807.82 crore of the principal amount remains unpaid.

The Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case last year under the PMLA.

The ED had said its “money trail analysis revealed that out of the total loan of Rs. 860.92 crore sanctioned and disbursed by IDBI, Rs. 423 crore was remitted out of India. The said payments were shown to be made towards aircraft rental leasing and maintenance, servicing and spare parts.”

The agency is expected to soon file a supplementary charge sheet in this case.

Mr Mallya (61) has been in the UK since March 2016 and was arrested by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on April 18.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) too is probing this case.

PTI