New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is preparing to file a second chargesheet against businessman Vijay Mallya, three months after filing the first.
The first chargesheet, filed by ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in June, was related to the suspected diversion of a Rs900 crore loan given to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines by IDBI Bank Ltd.
ED officials said on condition of anonymity that the next set of charges would pertain to other sums suspected to have been laundered by Mallya, who borrowed the money for Kingfisher Airlines, which was grounded in 2012.
Mallya diverted most of the Rs6,000 crore he borrowed from a State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders to shell companies in half-a-dozen countries, The Economic Times reported on Monday, citing investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED. They will file a fresh chargesheet based on these findings, the newspaper said.
“There is an existing chargesheet against Vijay Mallya and another one will also be filed soon. However, it is premature to spell out the details of the chargesheet," said a senior ED official on condition of anonymity.
Another senior ED official said, also on condition of anonymity, that “the agency had identified 30-odd shell companies which were used by Mallya to launder the Kingfisher loans".
“The amount was about one-fourth but it is early to say. The KFA account had a low credit rating and fresh loans were granted," he added. The second chargesheet will be based on a complaint filed by a State Bank of India-led consortium, this person said.
CBI denied it was going to file any chargesheet on the matter.
Mallya had been chargesheeted by CBI on 24 January, following which a CBI court in Mumbai issued a non-bailable warrant against him on 31 January.
Mallya left for London in March 2016 as banks closed in on him to recover more than Rs9,000 crore owed to them by the defunct Kingfisher Airlines. On 19 April 2017, Mallya was briefly arrested by Scotland Yard in London, following India’s request for his extradition on fraud charges. He was released on bail a few hours later after he appeared at a central London police station.
“This matter is sub-judice; hence, we cannot comment on the same," a spokesperson for Mallya’s United Breweries Holdings Ltd said.
Jayshree P. Upadhyay in Mumbai and Sharan Poovanna in Bengaluru contributed to the story