Updated: June 24, 2021 1:56:44 am
A Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) on Wednesday sold 39.64 million shares of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries Ltd (UBL) to Heineken NV for Rs 5,824.50 crore. These shares of Mallya were attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case against the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
The ED in a statement said the sale of shares was conducted on behalf of a consortium led by the State Bank of India (SBI). With the acquisition of these shares, Heineken’s shareholding in UBL has now increased to 61.5 per cent from the earlier 46.5 per cent.
The share sale, done through a series of block deals on the exchanges, was carried out after a special court in Mumbai allowed restoration of properties of Mallya and companies linked to him to the SBI-led consortium, earlier this month. Following the court order, ED transferred shares worth Rs 6,600 crore to the consortium of banks that lent money to Kingfisher Airlines.
On June 25, the tribunal islikely to put another chunk of shares of Mallya worth Rs 800 crore on the block, said ED.
This is not the first time that banks have sold shares of Mallya attached by the ED in the money laundering case.
ED not only attached/ seized assets worth of Rs. 18,170.02 crore (80.45% of total loss to banks) in case of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi under the PMLA but also transferred a part of attached/ seized assets of Rs. 9371.17 Crore to the PSBs and
— ED (@dir_ed) June 23, 2021
In 2019, the SBI-led consortium sold Mallya’s share in UBL and United Spirits Ltd (USL) worth Rs 1,357 crore.
Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines are accused in a case for loan defaults of over Rs 10,000 crore to a consortium of Indian banks led by the SBI. The ED has so far attached assets worth over Rs 12,000 crore of Mallya and his firms in India and abroad.
Mallya is facing extradition proceedings in the UK and was declared a fugitive economic offender in India in 2019.
The ED in its statement on Wednesday also said as on date, it has handed over attached assets worth Rs 9,041.5 crore to public sector banks in bank fraud cases of Mallya, and fugitive diamond traders Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“The ED has also taken immediate steps to attach/seize assets worth Rs 18,170.02 crore which included assets worth of Rs 969 crore located in foreign countries. The quantum of the attached and seized assets represents 80.45% of total bank loss of Rs 22,585.83 crore (in Mallya, Choksi and Modi cases). The investigation by the ED has proved that substantial part of these assets were held in the names of dummy entities/ trusts/ third persons/ relatives of these accused and these entities were proxy of these accused to hold these assets,” said the ED.
According to ED records, out of the attachments of Rs 18,170.02 crore, assets valued at Rs 12,500 crore have been attached in the case of Kingfisher Airlines, while assets worth Rs 2,550 crore and Rs 2,400 crore have been attached in connection with the bank fraud allegedly perpetrated by Choksi and Modi respectively. The actual recovery from these attached assets, however, would depend on the prevailing market price at which these assets (real estate and jewellery) are sold.
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