Setback for Mallya from ED, Debt Recovery Tribunal

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Vijay Mallya. (PTI)

File photo of Vijay Mallya. (PTI)

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s troubles mounted on Monday. Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money laundering case against him even as the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) barred Mallya from accessing Rs 515 crore severance pay.

ED’s case has been registered in connection with the alleged default of over Rs 900 crore loan from IDBI bank.

Sources said the agency filed charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on an FIR registered last year by CBI in the same case.

Sources also revealed that ED sleuths are also looking at the overall financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and a separate probe under foreign exchange violation charges could also be initiated.

“Mallya and others will soon be questioned. The agency has collected relevant documents from concerned authorities and the bank in question,” sources in the ED revealed.

The ED has pressed charges under various sections of the PMLA against Mallya and others named in the CBI complaint.

The CBI had booked Mallya, director of Kingfisher Airlines, the company, A Raghunathan, Chief Financial Officer of the airlines, and unknown officials of IDBI Bank in its FIR alleging that the loan was sanctioned in violation of norms regarding credit limits.

The CBI action on Mallya was part of its probe into criminal aspects of loans declared to be non-performing assets by public sector banks.

Reports say the ED is probably looking into the “proceeds of crime” that would have been generated using slush funds of the alleged loan fraud.

Mallya had yesterday said he is making efforts to reach a ‘one-time settlement’ with banks through additional payments to the lenders, even as he denied “personally” being a “borrower or judgement defaulter” and alleged that a “disinformation campaign” was being played to make him a “poster boy” of all bad loans.

Former KFA employees have gone public against Mallya and the company alleging they have been cheated of their remuneration and service benefits. The debt-laden airlines stopped operations in October 2012.

(With inputs from PTI)