A day after more than 74 lakh of his shares in United Breweries Holdings Limited were sold for over Rs 1,000 crore, fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Thursday lashed out at the way he has been “branded a thief”.
On Wednesday, the Enforcement Directorate said Bengaluru-based Debt Recovery Tribunal had fetched Rs 1,008 crore from the sale of 74,04,932 shares held by Mallya in the company. The shares have been attached by the investigating agency as part of its money laundering probe against Mallya.
The shares were kept with Yes Bank as security “in lieu of” a loan taken by Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines, the agency said, according to PTI. A court-appointed liquidator currently holds Mallya’s shares.
“So much so for branding me a thief who stole PSU [public sector unit] Bank money and ran away,” Mallya tweeted early on Thursday. “Banks have made a substantial recovery in the past and also today. All included in my settlement proposal too. Damned if you do and Damned if you don’t is how I am treated.”
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, claiming he was in “forced exile” as he owed over Rs 9,000 crore to a consortium of Indian banks. However, a court there ordered his extradition to India in December 2018. The UK signed an order to extradite him on February 4.
Last month, he filed an application in the United Kingdom High Court seeking permission to appeal against an extradition order signed by the government’s Home Secretary.
Mallya has attacked the public sector banks repeatedly in the past few months. On Tuesday, he had accused public sector banks for allowing his Kingfisher Airlines to fail. Mallya has reiterated several times that he had placed liquid assets before the Karnataka High Court to pay off the public sector banks and other creditors.