Vijay Mallya loses properties worth Rs 1,411 crore

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday provisionally attached nine movable and immovable properties worth Rs 1,411 crore of Vijay Mallya and United Breweries (Holding) Limited, of which he is the chairman, as part of a money laundering probe against him.

The ED is probing a Rs 900-crore IDBI Bank loan default case against Mallya under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The properties include two flats in Bengaluru and Mumbai, residential and commercial structures in UB City and Kingfisher Tower in Bengaluru, spread over 8.4 lakh square feet, and a 4.5-acre industrial plot in Chennai.

Apart from a 28.6-acre coffee plantation land in Coorg, the ED has also attached an account with Rs 34 crore bank balance in Laxmi Vilas Bank.

The funds have been deposited in the name of a shell company whose ownership is not clear, officials said. The company’s director gets a few thousand rupees salary and the ED believes that Mallya controls the company. Similarly, the coffee plantation land and a farmhouse in Coorg are allegedly owned by a Mallya-controlled shell company. The ED has calculated the value of these properties according to the ready-reckoner rate fixed by the government.

Officials said the attachment is provisional and the adjudicating authority will pass an order after hearing Mallya. If confirmed, the ED will explore auction options. As of now, the ED is focusing on attachment of properties in connection with only the IDBI case.

The ED has registered a case against Mallya under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the Rs 900-crore default case. The officials said the Rs 864-crore loan was sanctioned to Kingfisher Airlines against the collateral security of the Kingfisher brand, corporate guarantee of UBHL and personal guarantee of Mallya. The bank did not carry out due diligence before disbursing the loan, they added.

Mallya has also defaulted on payment to other banks. He needs to pay Rs 9,400 crore to the SBI-led consortium of 17 banks. The foreign ministry revoked his diplomatic passport on ED’s request after he left for the UK in March.

Last week, the ED moved a special court requesting it to declare Mallya a proclaimed offender. The court will pass an order on Monday.

This will help the ED strengthen its case for his extradition. The ED, through the CBI, has requested Interpol to issue a red-corner notice against Mallya to bring him back from the UK. A non-bailable warrant is also pending against him.

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