Businessman Vijay Mallya on Friday claimed that his firm’s assets worth Rs 13,000 crore were seized on behalf of a consortium of banks whom he owes Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya also questioned the allegations of fraud and money laundering against him.
The fugitive businessman described the purported attachment of assets as disgraceful. “The Debts Recovery Tribunal Recovery Officer recently attached my group’s assets worth over 13,000 crore in India on behalf of the Consortium of Banks,” he tweeted. “Yet the narrative is that I ran away with the claimed amount of Rs 9,000 crore causing a loss to the Public Sector Banks. Where is justice or fair play?”
On January 5, a special court in Mumbai declared Mallya a fugitive economic offender. He is the first person to get the tag after Parliament passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act last year to allow the seizure of domestic assets of such individuals.
Mallya is fighting a number of lawsuits in the United Kingdom and India related to fraud and money laundering allegations. He fled India and moved to London in March 2016, but a court there ordered his extradition to India in December.
On Friday, the businessman claimed that the banks have said that his dues, including interest, amount to Rs 9,000 crore and are subject to review. “How far will this go?” he tweeted.
The businessman alleged that there were irregularities in the legal process against him. “The banks’ lawyers in England have objected in writing to my paying my legitimate tax dues to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs which I requested,” he claimed. “The irony is that Indian state banks want my money in England to settle an Indian debt already secured and deny payment to the United Kingdom tax exchequer.”
Mallya said Indian state banks had given “open licences” to their lawyers in England to follow up “multiple frivolous litigation” against him. “Who is accountable for spending public money on legal fees in such a brazen manner?”