As much as Rs 18,000 crore have been returned to Indian banks from fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, the central government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, reported IANS. All three businessmen are wanted in India on fraud charges.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta made the submission to a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar that is hearing a batch of petitions challenging certain amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the scope of the Enforcement Directorate’s powers in cases related to the law, NDTV reported.

Mehta also told the court that the total quantum of fraud in the money laundering cases pending before Supreme Court is Rs 67,000 crore. The solicitor general also told the court that as of Wednesday, 4,700 money laundering cases were being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.

The Rs 18,000 crore amount cited by Mehta on Wednesday is nearly Rs 5,000 crore more than what the banks had recovered from fraudsters till July last year.

On December 21, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had told Lok Sabha that Indian banks have recovered Rs 13,109 crore by selling the assets of fugitive businessmen such as Modi and Mallya.

“The latest recovery was Rs 792 crore from the sale of assets belonging to Vijay Mallya and others on July 16, 2021,” she had said.

Modi is accused of duping the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore. Choksi, who is Modi’s uncle, is also a prime accused in the case. Meanwhile, Mallya owes Rs 9,000 crore to a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India in a fraud case involving the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.