Vijay Mallya diverted most of Rs 6,000-cr loan to shell firms in 7 nations

File photo of former Indian politician and billionaire businessman Vijay Mallya
Strengthening the case for fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya's extradition from the United Kingdom, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are reported to be preparing a charge sheet alleging the former liquor baron laundered a major chunk of the Rs 6,027-cr loan taken for the defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

Mallya, the 61-year-old chief of the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines who owes over Rs 9,000 crore to IDBI Bank and various other Indian banks, had fled India to escape legal proceedings in connection with default on the loan repayment.

The money, borrowed from a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India, was allegedly diverted through shell firms in seven countries, including the United States (US), the UK, France and Ireland, The Times of India reported on Monday.

“Now, we have established links with shell companies and bank accounts in at least seven countries,” the English daily quoted an official as saying. The letters have been been sent to the US, UK, France and Ireland and the officials would get more details soon.

The official said Mallya systematically duped banks by repaying some amount of the loan and borrowing more funds after gaining their confidence.

The current evidence is scheduled to be submitted before a London court, where the extradition trial to bring Mallya to face court proceedings in India is scheduled for two weeks starting December 4.

The ED has identified properties worth Rs 11,000 crore belonging to Mallya, even as the latter has denied all allegations. Mallya's properties worth Rs 9,000 cr have already been attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Mallya, in a self-imposed exile since March 2016, was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on April 18, and is currently out on bail. 

India and the UK have an Extradition Treaty, signed in 1992 and in force since November 1993.

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