Assets worth Rs 9,371.17 crore belonging to fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have been transferred to public sector banks and the central government, the Enforcement Directorate said on Wednesday.
All the three businessmen, who are facing extradition trials, have defrauded state-run banks by siphoning off funds through their companies. In total, their assets worth Rs 18,170.02 crore have been attached by the ED so far, which is 80.45% of the total losses incurred by the banks.
In a statement, the agency said that the Debts Recovery Tribunal has sold shares worth over Rs 5,800 crore of United Breweries Limited that were earlier attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as part of the investigation against Mallya, PTI reported.
The ED said it had transferred attached shares worth Rs 6,600 crore to a State Bank of India-led consortium as per an order of a special court in Mumbai.
Mallya is on bail in Britain, having lost a legal battle against extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering. As he has been denied permission to file an appeal in the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court, his extradition to India has become final, the ED said.
Mallya has repeatedly denied the charges against him and offered to pay back 100% of the amount borrowed by Kingfisher Airlines, but neither the banks nor the Enforcement Directorate has accepted the offer.
The Westminster Magistrates’ Court in the UK has also given approval for Modi to be extradited to India to face trial. The fugitive diamond merchant is accused of duping the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore. He was arrested on March 19, 2019, and has been lodged in London’s Wandsworth jail.
Meanwhile, in Choksi’s case, legal proceedings are underway in a court of Dominica, where he was arrested for illegal entry on May 24. Choksi had been reported missing by his family on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen after fleeing India before the PNB fraud came to light.
From the total scam amount, Choksi’s companies are accused of siphoning off Rs 7,080 crore through Letters of Undertaking and Foreign Letters of Credit. His nephew Nirav Modi’s companies are involved in fraud of more than Rs 6,498 crore, according to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
In the supplementary chargesheet filed before a special court in Mumbai, the CBI said 165 Letters of Undertaking and 58 Foreign Letters of Credit were fraudulently issued to Choksi’s companies in 2017. The LoUs are a guarantee given by a bank on behalf of its client to a foreign bank. In case the client fails to repay the foreign bank, the liability falls on the guarantor bank.