Enforcement Directorate files money laundering case against Vijay Mallya.By Agencies | Mar 07, 2016, 02.44 PM IST.
The Enforcement Directorate(ED) on Monday registered a money laundering case against businessman Vijay Mallya based on a CBI complaint against him. The ED is likely to question Mallya to ascertain whether money taken from banks as loan was diverted offshore. Mallya on Sunday claimed that he is "being painted as an absconder" and that "a successful disinformation campaign has ensured my becoming the poster boy of all Bank NPA's". He also said he is neither a borrower nor a judgement defaulter. Kingfisher Airlines shut operations in 2012 bogged down by cash and credit problems. It sank with total dues of over $2 billion and about Rs 7000 crore owed to lenders. He has been alleged in court cases as a wilful defaulter of loans. Mallya recently came in the news when he announced his retirement as chairman of United Spirits (USL). Diageo-owned USL offered him a severance package of $75 million (Rs 515 crore). This led Kingfisher's lenders to appeal to the dent recovery tribunal (DRT) to restrain the payment so they get their unpaid dues first. Most recently, Kingfisher's lenders, led by the State Bank of India, approached the Karnataka High Court appealing Mallya be arrested and his passport impounded. "After the closure of the airline (Kingfisher), since April, 2013, the banks and their assignees have recovered, in cash, an aggregate of Rs. 1,244 crore from sale of pledged shares. In addition an aggregate of Rs. 600 crore is lying deposited in the Karnataka High Court [since July, 2013] and a further sum of Rs. 650 crore belonging to United Breweries Holdings has been deposited in the Karnataka High Court since early 2014, being sums realized from the sale proceeds received by United Breweries Holdings from the sale of shares in United Spirits to Diageo in July, 2013. Thus, the aggregate cash recovery/security available is Rs 2,494 crore" Mallya said in his statement. He added he has been trying to reach a one-time settlement with the banks. (With inputs from ET Bureau)