Too little, too late? ED makes first move against Mallya, issues summons to Kingfisher

The ED is looking into the "proceeds of crime"
Too little, too late? ED makes first move against Mallya, issues summons to Kingfisher
Too little, too late? ED makes first move against Mallya, issues summons to Kingfisher
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Making its first move in the case, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to over half a dozen officials of the IDBI bank and Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines in connection with its money laundering probe in the alleged default of over Rs 900 crore loan from IDBI bank.

Officials said summons have been issued to former Chairman and Managing Director of the bank Yogesh Agarwal, the Chief Financial Officer of the now defunct airline A Raghunathan and other senior executive members and officials of both the organisations.

They said the summons have been been issued under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and all the individuals have been asked to submit details about their personal finances and Income Tax Returns (ITRs) of last five years to the investigators.

"The summons require them to join investigations in the next few days. The agency will record their statements," agency sources said.

The officials indicated that the agency will question some important functionaries of the bank and the airlines before they decide on issuing summons to the main player and liquor baron Vijay Mallya in the case.

The ED recently registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on a CBI FIR registered last year.

The agency is also investigating the overall financial structure of Kingfisher airlines and if any possible kick backs were made.

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, Raghunathan 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 came as part of its wide probe into criminal aspects of loans declared to be non-performing assets by public sector banks.

The ED is looking into the "proceeds of crime" that would have been generated using the slush funds of the alleged loan fraud and it is also probing if some of this amount was sent abroad illegally, they said.

Clarifying his position in the loan owed by KFA, Mallya in a recent statement had said after the closure of the airline, 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 realised from the sale proceeds received by United Breweries Holdings from the sale of shares in United Spirits to Diageo Plc in July, 2013," he had said.

"Thus, the aggregate cash recovery/security available is Rs 2,494 crore," Mallya saidThe Attorney General had on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that Mallya has left the country a week ago.

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