The enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons to Vijay Mallya, chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, asking him to appear before the agency on April 2, in connection with a money laundering case.
Mallya had on Thursday has asked for time till “early April” to appear before the ED. The agency, that is investigating Mallya under the strict Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had earlier directed Mallya to appear in person before it on March 18.
According to ED sources, the agency has expanded the scope of its investigation to include all the 17 banks that have lent to the airlines. The ED is also planning to seek the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) report on the issue of alleged round tripping of shares of United Spirits Ltd in 2007. Sebi is investigating allegation of round tripping in six accounts that belong to Mallya.
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“The ED will seek help from the RBI and Sebi to ensure that Mallya’s firms do not create third party rights (on assets),” said a senior official. The official added that the agency is co-ordinating with the CBI on Kingfisher case on a daily basis.
Mallya has come under the scanner of multiple investigating agencies such as the CBI, SFIO and ED. His company Kingfisher Airlines has defaulted on bank loans of over Rs 7,000 crore.
The ED has already grilled Ravi Nedungadi, former president and CFO at UB Group and A Raghunathan, former CFO of Kingfisher Airlines in the alleged default of over Rs 900 crore loan from IDBI Bank. On Thursday both Nedungadi and Raghunathan were questioned once again by ED.
Apart from Mallya, the ED had also issued summons to over half a dozen officials of IDBI Bank and KFA under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) wherein all the individuals have been asked to submit details about their personal finances and I-T returns of last five years.
The ED has also written to 17 banks and a clutch of probe agencies for details on loans defaulted and transactions done by Mallya’s companies. It has also sent official requests seeking details of the probe conducted by the income tax and service tax departments and the SFIO against the airline in the past.