A two-member team comprising senior officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is in London to brief the Crown Prosecution Service that is representing the Indian government in the extradition case of Vijay Mallya, chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The ED officials, according to sources will also submit an over 5,000 page prosecution complaint filed by the agency against Mallya and the airlines last month in Mumbai.
The ED complaint was submitted in a Mumbai court on June 14 for an alleged loan default of Rs 900 crore by Kingfisher. The complaint accused the airline and Mallya of having routed overseas over Rs 417 crore of Rs 900 crore it secured as loan from IDBI Bank for aircraft rental leasing and operational expenses.
According to the ED complaint, Kingfisher Airlines “participated in criminal activities”, which led to the “generation and acquisition” of Rs 900 crore, and was “involved with the concealment, possession, acquisition and use of the proceeds of (the) crime”. It claimed that Mallya was an “active participant in the generation of proceeds of crime and the activity of money laundering” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The agency in its complaint also said that Mallya hid assets of about Rs 1760 crore through a dozen shell companies abroad. The ED is now planning to seek cooperation from countries like France, Singapore, Mauritius, Ireland, US and UAE to probe certain transactions and the shell companies involved.
Last week in two separate orders, a special CBI court has also directed attachment and restraint on 21 accounts held by Mallya and his associates in the UK and Switzerland.
On June 13, Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot granted Mallya bail until December 4. In April, Mallya was arrested in Scotland Yard on fraud allegations. He was released after a few hours on conditional bail after paying 650,000 pounds. Kingfisher owes over Rs 9,000 crore to 17 lenders, including the State Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Punjab National
Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, United Bank of India, Central Bank, UCO Bank, Corporation Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Federal Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, and Axis Bank among others.