Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya’s asset worth Rs 14 crore seized in France

New Delhi: The noose around fugitive Businessman Vijay Mallya is tightening as his property worth Rs 14 crore (1.6 million Euro) located in France has been seized under the anti-money laundering law, according to the Enforcement Directorate. Vijay Mallya allegedly sent this amount through the account of Kingfisher Airline.

A Mumbai court has declared Vijay Mallya as fugitive and the ED has so far seized his assets worth Rs 11231.71 crore. In December 2018, a UK court has already ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya, refusing his appeal. 

In the latest development, Vijay Mallya’s property at 32 Avenue FOCH, France has been seized by the French Authority following the Directorate of Enforcement’s request. Investigations conducted under PMLA revealed that a large amount was remitted abroad from the bank account of M/s Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. (KAL), said the ED.

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The ED investigation commenced under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) based on an FIR registered by CBI against Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. (KAL), Vijay Mallya and others on January 25, 2016. 

“Provisional attachment orders have been issued wherein properties worth Rs 11231.70 crore (Market value at the time of attachment) have been attached which was also confirmed by the Ld. Adjudicating Authority. A prosecution complaint has been filed against Vijay Mallya, M/s UBHL, M/s KAL, bank officials, and others,” the ED said. 

An application was also moved before the designated court to declare the accused Vijay Mallya as a Fugitive Economic offender. The Special Court (FEO Act), Mumbai had declared Vijay Mallya as a fugitive economic offender on January 5, 2019.

The extradition request of Vijay Mallya was sent to the UK and the Westminster’s Magistrates court has ruled for Vijay Mallya’s extradition on charges of Money Laundering on December 10, 2018. 

The court observed clear evidence of dispersal and misapplication of the loan funds and prima facie, and also found that the accused, Vijay Mallya, was involved in a conspiracy to launder money. Appeals of Vijay Mallya to UK High Court and later Supreme Court have been rejected, the ED added.

Notably, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to be the chief guest at India’s 2021 Republic Day celebrations. Boris Johnson’s visit to India is likely to further the extradition process of Vijay Mallya, sources told Zee News.

The sources further expressed that there is a possibility that authorities of both the nations may take a decision on Mallya’s extradition prior to the UK PM’s visit or this may happen after Johnson’s visit. Sources, however, added that the extradition of the fugitive liquor baron would happen in a few months.

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