Enforcement Directorate has identified assets worth over Rs 6,000 crore which it plans to attach as part of its fresh action against liquor baron Vijay Mallya, in connection with a money laundering probe against him and others in an alleged bank loan fraud case.
The agency is preparing to initiate the second round of attachments under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), after the embattled businessman recently skipped appearance before a special PMLA court in Mumbai under a proclamation order issued under sections of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
The agency, sources said, has identified some pledged shares, associated immovable and movable assets of Mallya and his family members that would be seized and frozen as part of its action plan to widen probe in the case. “Similar action can be initiated against few others named in the case apart from Mallya,” they said.
They said the agency has already written to banks and other financial institutions to obtain details in this regard. The agency, meanwhile, is also in the process of getting a ‘proclaimed person’ order issued from the special court which will be further sent to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in order to execute the India-UK MLAT to bring Mallya back to India to join investigations.
ED, in June, had sought the proclamation notice to be issued against Mallya as it said he had “multiple” arrest warrants pending against him, including a non-bailable warrant (NBW) under the PMLA, and that the agency wants him to join the probe “in person”. ED has already attached his properties worth about Rs 1,411 crore under PMLA in this case few months back.
The agency has been wanting Mallya to join investigations “in person” in its PMLA probe against him and others in the Rs 900 crore alleged loan fraud of IDBI bank and has virtually exhausted all legal remedies like seeking an Interpol arrest warrant and getting his passport revoked.
The business baron and others are alleged to have diverted a part of the loan to some of their offshore businesses. ED had already sought to invoke the India-United Kingdom Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to have Mallya extradited from Britain. He had left India on March 2 this year using his diplomatic passport. The agency has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.
A Delhi court had on Saturday issued a non-bailable warrant against him in a 2012 cheque bounce case, saying coercive steps were required to ensure Mallya’s appearance in the court.