Mallya used loan money to buy realty abroad: ED

Biz­man si­phoned off Rs430cr of a loan meant for KFA, say in­ves­ti­ga­tors

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: Vi­jay Mallya in­vested nearly half of a Rs 950-crore loan from IDBI bank in prop­er­ties out­side In­dia, in­ves­ti­ga­tors prob­ing al­le­ga­tions of money laun­der­ing by the em­bat­tled liquor baron told a spe­cial court on Satur­day.

The court is hear­ing a plea by the En­force­ment Direc­torate, an agency that in­ves­ti­gates fi­nan­cial crimes, seek­ing a non-bail­able ar­rest war­rant and a red-cor­ner no­tice against the Ra­jya Sabha MP who owes Rs9,400 crores to sev­eral banks in In­dia. The court re­served its or­der un­til Mon­day.

ED coun­sel Hiten Vene­gaonkar told the court that Mallya si­phoned off Rs430 crore from the IDBI bank loan un­der heads such as air­craft lease rent, im­port of spare parts and air­craft main­te­nance ser­vices. The loan was given to his now-de­funct King­fisher Air­lines.

The ED’s re­marks be­fore the court are the first spe­cific charges against Mallya, who left the country in March amidst mount­ing pres­sure from banks to pay up.

The agency has ap­proached sev­eral coun­tries, in­clud­ing Bri­tain, France and the United States over King­fisher Air­lines’ trans­ac­tions.

Some ED of­fi­cials sus­pect that money might have been parked in over­seas tax havens, sources said.

“We have stum­bled upon the money trail and found that of the money he bor­rowed, a por­tion had been used to buy a prop­erty out­side In­dia,” Vene­gaonkar said adding that ma­jor re­cip­i­ents of the amount have been iden­ti­fied, along with their bank de­tails.

“Pay­ments of var­i­ous amounts to com­pa­nies ap­par­ently un­re­lated to the busi­ness were made,” he said.

He said the agency has ap­proached coun­tries such as Ire­land, UK and France to ver­ify the trans­ac­tions by King­fisher Air­lines which ceased oper­a­tions in 2012.

CON­TIN­UED ON P10

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