Mallya Loan Was Passed Due To “Outside Pressure”: Fraud Office
The report alleges that Ministry of Finance officials had advised banks to pass the loans to Kingfisher Airlines.
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) following a probe into liquor baron Vijay Mallya's loan default case, alleged that there was "outside pressure and intervention" in passing the corporate loan of Rs 2,000 crore to the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
The SFIO accessed emails seized from computers obtained by CBI, reported The Indian Express. The report alleges that officials of the Ministry of Finance had advised banks to pass the loans to Kingfisher Airlines.
Some key findings in the report sourced by The Indian Express are:
- Mallya “obtained information or data on number of passengers, market share etc., from officials of DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) even before the data were placed before the top official of DGCA (Director General of DGCA)”.
- Mallya made provisions for “politically influential persons for travel in Kingfisher Airlines (by offering business or first-class seats always against the payment of economy class fare) and paid the expenses relating to hiring of chartered helicopters used during elections”.
- He issued “first-class/business-class tickets free of cost” to members of the Ministry of Finance travelling outside the country. These losses were borne by Kingfisher.
On Tuesday, Mallya was arrested in London in a money laundering case but was granted bail minutes after the arrest. He was released on a £60,000 bail bond.
He was arrested in a second money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
This was the second time this year the business tycoon has been arrested in the United Kingdom, even as the trial in his extradition process is being heard by a UK court. He was arrested in April 2017, but released only a few hours after the arrest.
The case is being probed by the ED and the central probe agency has already filed a charge sheet against him and others in a Mumbai court. The CPS will be arguing the case against Mallya on behalf of the Indian government.
Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot has been hearing Mallya's extradition case at Westminster Magistrates' Court on his previous arrest warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April. Mallya's trial in that case is scheduled for two weeks, starting 4 December.
The embattled businessman, who has been based in the UK since he fled India in March last year, is wanted in India for his erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crore.
It remains to be seen if both cases will be clubbed together, which may lead to a delay in the trial date.
Mallya had been arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on behalf of Indian authorities on 18 April.
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