Vijay Mallya, chairman of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd and UB Holdings, on Sunday came down on the Enforcement Directorate saying there is “no rationale or any legal basis” for the series of actions initiated by the ED which is now making it “more difficult to raise resources to pay the banks”.
“Purely civil matters such as loan recovery are being connected with criminal allegations without any basis whatsoever,” Mallya said. The ED on Saturday attached properties worth Rs 1,411 crore of Mallya in connection with a money laundering probe in the Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case.
According to Mallya, the assets purportedly attached under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) date back to several years prior to the launch of Kingfisher Airlines. “Kingfisher Airlines provided full details supported by copies of bank statements and swift copies showing that the funds were utilised only for legitimate business purposes,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
Mallya said there has been absolutely no misappropriation or diversion of funds and strenuously deny any allegation to the contrary.
“The UB group has itself invested over Rs 6,000 crore of own money into Kingfisher Airlines which has been lost due to a genuine business failure. At the relevant time Air India received a bailout package of Rs 30,000 crore from the government which serves to reinforce the stressed position of the aviation sector at that time,” he said.
“It surely appears as if these agencies are pursuing a heavily biased investigation and are already holding me guilty without trial after which I need to prove my innocence,” he said. “Through all this I have still reached out to the banks asking them to nominate a committee to sit across the table and negotiate a one time settlement with us.”
“The ED’s latest move seems to be to approach the PMLA Court to declare me a proclaimed absconder for reasons that I cannot understand. I left India as per schedule on March 2 to attend meetings in Geneva at which time no ED proceedings had commenced and no summons issued to me,” he claimed.
Mallya said: “All government agencies are also approaching various courts to cancel previous exemptions from personal appearance granted to me so that further non bailable warrants can be issued against me all of which seems to be part of a concerted effort to construct a case for my extradition.”
“It surely appears as if these agencies are pursuing a heavily biased investigation and are already holding me guilty without trial after which I need to prove my innocence,” Mallya said in the statement.
ED writes to Interpol on Mallya RCN
To ensure that the Red Corner Notice (RCN) request sent to Interpol against beleaguered liquor baron does not meet the same fate as that against former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent a detailed communication, along with legal inputs, to the international body in reply to some clarifications sought by it.
Interpol was not fully satisfied with the request sent by ED through external affairs ministry and had sought more details to be able to issue RCN against Mallya, who is wanted in a money laundering case emerging from an alleged Rs 900 crore bank loan fraud.
The agency has told Interpol that it has followed all legal procedures for seeking a RCN against him. It has also said that orders were issued by the courts after hearing the counsels of ED and Mallya, officials said.
The ED has told the global police body that issuance of RCN against Mallya is “obligatory” on the part of Interpol as all due legal processes have been followed by Indian probe agencies to seek such a warrant against an accused to make him join probe and ensure justice to the victim (banks).
It has also informed Interpol that the agency is seeking a proclaimed offender status against Mallya from a competent court. A decision in this regard is expected from a Mumbai court on Monday. ENS