A SPECIAL CBI court has issued Letters Rogatory to the US and Switzerland for further investigation into diversion of loans received from several banks by Kingfisher Airlines and its former management. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the court that probe has revealed that money obtained from “wrongful gain” is likely to have been invested in these countries.
In July 2015, the CBI had registered a suo motu case against Kingfisher and its former management including Vijay Mallya, chairman of the now-defunct KFA, for allegedly defrauding 17 banks of at least Rs 7,000 crore.
“During investigation … documents were seized and persons were interrogated. On the basis of the investigation, it is now revealed to the CBI that the amount under reference and particularly from wrongful gain as above is likely to have been invested in Switzerland and hence … certain investigation is required,” special Judge HS Mahajan said in his order. A similar order has been passed on investments made in the US.
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Letters Rogatory (LR)— letters of request— are sent to competent authorities of a country during an investigation. This allows the authority to examine orally any person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case. This would also require the person to produce a document pertaining to the case.
The Bank Securities and Fraud Cell of the CBI which sought the LR also described before court certain documents as objects, articles and statements of witness required for further investigation and trial.
The court has issued the LR requesting collection of these items directing the authority to forward them.
The CBI has been looking into as many as 5 lakh transactions carried out by Kingfisher Airlines since 2004. The Enforcement Directorate is also investigating the company for alleged money laundering and violations of the Companies Act. Last month, the special ED court initiated the process of declaring Mallya a proclaimed offender.
Mallya has been given 30 days to appear before the court, failing which the ED can begin attaching his properties.