Two days after beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya told a Delhi court that he felt “incapacitated” to travel to India despite his “best intentions” as his passport has been revoked, the ED has started working on issuing a third attachment order worth a few thousand crore of rupees more against him. The ED has already attached assets worth Rs 8,041 crore as part of its criminal probe against Mallya and this time the targeted assets would include those on foreign shores.
Officials said while the Enforcement Directorate has till now been effecting seizure of assets under the stringent provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the next edition of attachments will be carried out under sections of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The agency had got a proclamation issued by a Mumbai court under CrPC against Mallya after he skipped multiple summonses to depose in its money laundering probe in the alleged bank loan frauds worth over Rs 9,000 crore.
With Mallya not joining ED’s PMLA probe till now, the agency, they said, will the third set of attachment orders for assets held “directly and indirectly” by him, including those at overseas locations like South Africa, the UK and others. It is understood that the agency has already got a dossier prepared in this regard of his shares in companies and other business commitments, and an order for attachment of assets under CrPC would be issued in some time. While sources did not mention the estimated value of the assets that would be attached under the fresh order, it is expected to be worth a few thousand crores of rupees.
The agency, meanwhile, has also moved to add fresh charges against him in its existing request to Interpol for issuance of a global arrest warrant and that in the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between India and the UK which it wants to invoke in order to force Mallya to join the probe. The ED had on September 3 issued its second attachment order for assets worth Rs 6,630 crore and seized his farmhouse, flats and Fixed Deposits in connection with its money laundering case against him and his associates.
The agency had also recently taken over investigation into the alleged loan default of Rs 6,027 crore availed from a consortium of nationalised banks led by SBI, in which a fresh case was also filed by CBI last month.