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ED issues fresh summons to Mallya to appear on April 2

Vijay Mallya

Mumbai  : Enforcement Directorate (ED) today issued fresh summons to liquor baron Vijay Mallya to make a personal appearance before its investigating officer here on April 2 in connection with its money laundering probe in the over Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case.

The new summons came after the United Breweries (UB) group Chairman had yesterday sought more time from the agency to present himself on a later date instead of the scheduled time for today.

Official sources said the agency accepted his plea and gave Mallya the new date of April 2 to “join investigations in person.”

The beleaguered businessman had informed the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case through email yesterday that he would not be able to keep the date of today even as he sought fresh time next month in this regard in a email communication.

They said after “studying the reply and reasons” cited by Mallya, including a communication he said he made to some agencies earlier that he would be out of India in March, the agency issued the fresh date.

The fresh summons to Mallya have been issued under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA and it requires him to furnish documents related to hi personal investments and finances, Income Tax Returns for the last five years and Passport.

ED Director Karnal Singh is camping here since yesterday to supervise the high profile probes being conducted by the agency including that of Mallya’s and the other related to former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, his family and others.

The ED had recently registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on a CBI FIR registered last year. The agency is also investigating the overall financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and will look into any payment of kickbacks to secure loan.

The CBI had booked Mallya, the Chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, its Directors, former Chief Financial Officer of the airlines A Raghunathan and unknown officials of IDBI Bank in its FIR alleging that the loan was sanctioned in violation of norms regarding credit limits.

The ED is looking into the “proceeds of crime” that coul have been generated using the slush funds of the alleged loan fraud. It is also probing if some of this amount was sent abroad illegally.

The agency has also written to the 17-bank consortium, led by SBI, which lent money to the grounded airlines, and later went to the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) for recovery of over Rs 9,000 crore.

It has also sent official requests seeking details of the probe conducted by the Income Tax and Service Tax departments and the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) against the airline in the past.

Besides, the central agency is looking for details of overseas and domestic assets of Mallya and his company officials, in coordination with central security agencies and the CBI.

It has already questioned two senior officials in the money laundering case– Raghunathan and former United Breweries Chief Financial Officer Ravi Nedungadi along with a few other accused.

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