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Mallya case: Bank consortium, ED meet

Last updated on: December 31, 2020 14:28 IST

ED is probing Mallya and KFA under anti-money laundering laws in connection with a Rs 900 crore (Rs 9 billion) loan default of IDBI bank

Vijay Mallya

IMAGE: File photo of Vijay Mallya leaving after an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, in central London. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Captains of the 17 bank consortium, State Bank of India, and the Enforcement Directorate met on Wednesday to thrash out a strategy for recovery of loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore (Rs 90 billion) borrowed by liquor baron Vijay Maya and his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines (KFA).

Officials said the meeting was arranged by the finance ministry at the behest of the ED so that the two sides can discuss the alleged loan default by Mallya and his companies and also chart the way forward.

The two sides are understood to have shared notes and details of probe that they have undertaken till now in the case, which is also being heard by the Supreme Court.

ED is probing Mallya and KFA under anti-money laundering laws in connection with a Rs 900 crore (Rs 9 billion) loan default of IDBI bank.

IDBI and 16 other banks have formed a consortium led by the State Bank of India to pursue these cases against Mallya and his companies.

The agency, which, wants Mallya to join the probe in this case "in person", is also mulling preparations to attach his foreign and domestic assets under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

It has virtually exhausted all legal options to make Mallya join the probe including issuance of a non-bailable warrant against him by a Mumbai court based on which it made the requests for revocation of his passport and subsequent deportation bid to bring back the beleaguered businessman from the UK.

However, the United Kingdom had early this month made it clear that the liquor baron cannot be deported and asked India to seek his extradition instead.

The British government had said it acknowledges "the seriousness of allegations" against Mallya and was "keen to assist" the Indian government in this case.

ED is understood to be considering legal options on this issue now.

Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.

The agency has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.

It is also investigating financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and looking into whether any kickbacks were paid to secure loans.

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