NEW DELHI: In another potential setback for Vijay Mallya, the CBI and Enforcement Directorate are preparing to chargesheet the controversial tycoon for allegedly diverting a large chunk of funds from the Rs 6,027-crore loan he took for his now- defunct Kingfisher Airlines+ from a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India.
The money was allegedly diverted to shell companies in seven countries, including the US, UK, France and Ireland, official sources said.
CBI and ED sources claimed the evidence would strengthen their case for Mallya’s extradition from the UK.
An official refused to divulge the exact amount laundered by Mallya from the Rs 6,027 crore loan money+ but said “it’s huge”.
Mallya, who could not be contacted for his response, has previously denied charges of wrongdoing.
“We received information that Mallya, using his company and associates, laundered a major chunk of this Rs 6,027 crore loan to several countries. Now, we have established links with shell companies and bank accounts in at least seven countries. Letters rogatory have already been sent to the US, the UK, France and Ireland and we will get complete details soon,” the official said.
Sources in the CBI and ED, however, maintain that Mallya went about the fraud in a “systematic” way. “Vijay Mallya would repay some part of the loan, which allowed him to gain confidence of the banks, which gave him further loans.
In all, he took Rs 6,027 crore in loans from a consortium of 17 banks,” said the official. SBI had the maximum exposure of Rs 1,600 crore. Offiials said the fresh chargesheets having details of ‘systematic money laundering’ through shell companies in various countries should beef up the case against Mallya.
A plea for Mallya’s extradition from the UK+ , where he fled on March 2 last year, is being heard on the basis of a Rs 900 crore IDBI Bank loan fraud/money laundering case in the court of senior district judge (chief magistrate) Emma Arbuthnot at 81, Marylebone Road, London.
The CBI and ED plan to share the fresh chargesheets with the UK prosecutors before December, when the final extradition hearing will begin, said sources Other banks which gave loans to Kingfisher along with SBI include Punjab National Bank with an exposure of Rs 800 crore, Bank of India (Rs 650 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs 550 crore), Central Bank of India (Rs 410 crore), UCO Bank (Rs 320 crore), Corporation Bank (Rs 310 crore), State Bank of Mysore (Rs 150 crore), Indian Overseas Bank (Rs 140 crore).
Till now, Mallya was charged only in the Rs 900 crore IDBI loan case. It was established in the IDBI case that Mallya laundered around Rs 417 crore out of Rs 900 crore loan by forming a complex web of companies and nominating directors in those companies who were either his personal staff, retired company official or third persons.
A portion of the IDBI loan was reportedly laundered by Mallya to Cayman Islands, Mauritius, the UK and Switzerland, said sources. As first reported by TOI, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a “money laundering” investigation against Mallya.
The ED has identified property worth over Rs 11,000 crore belonging to Mallya and property worth at least Rs 9,000 crore has already been attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.