‘Prime mover’ Mallya used IDBI loan for Kingfisher Airlines to fund F1 race team, says ED
In its charge sheet filed against absconding businessman Vijay Mallya in a Mumbai court on Wednesday, the Enforcement Directorate alleged that he was the ‘prime mover’ in the plot to launder a major part of the Rs 900 crore IDBI-KFA bank loan taken to keep Kingfisher Airlines operational and had used part of the IDBI loan to even fund the Force India Formula F1 Team.
The ED filed the chargesheet a day after the Westminster Magistrates Court in London granted Mallya bail till December 4 in the extradition case.
The 57-page charge sheet or prosecution complaint, with voluminous annexures, was filed under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before a special anti-money laundering court here.
The court is soon expected to take cognisance of the charge sheet, officials said.
A total of nine accused have been named in the charge sheet by the ED including Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), United Breweries (Holding) Limited and senior employees and executives of the now-defunct airline and the IDBI (Industrial Development Bank of India) bank.
The agency, in the charge sheet, has called Mallya the "prime mover of the entire plot" and has described how funds obtained from the bank loan were allegedly routed illegally including "substantial payments" being diverted by the beleaguered businessman to the Formula-1 car racing event abroad.
It has also mentioned the role of other officials and executives of KFA and IDBI bank in this deal and has explained how the alleged fraud of bank loan in this case was done, with the help of flow charts and diagrams.
The agency also appended the statements of KFA and IDBI bank officials in the charge sheet, that were recorded by the it under the PMLA law, during the course of investigation.
The agency also has described how funds of over Rs 400 crore were moved abroad in alleged violation of rules.
The investigations conducted by the ED, it said, had found that Mallya, KFA along with IDBI bank officials "criminally conspired to obtain funds to the tune of Rs 860.92 crore despite weak financials, negative net-worth, non-compliance of corporate credit policy of new client, non-quality collateral security and low credit rating of the borrower, out of which Rs 807.82 crore of principal amount remains unpaid".
The Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case in this deal last year under the PMLA and has attached assets worth over Rs 9,600 crore till now.
The total loan sanctioned and disbursed by the IDBI bank to KFA was Rs 860.92 crore.
The ED said its "money trail analysis revealed that out of the total loan of Rs 860.92 crore, sanctioned and disbursed by IDBI, Rs 423 crore has been remitted out of India.
The said payments were shown to be made towards aircraft rental leasing and maintenance, servicing and spare parts."
The agency is expected to soon file a supplementary charge sheet in this case.
Mallya (61), sought by India for defaulting on several bank loans amounting to nearly Rs 9,000 crore, had yesterday claimed during his court appearance in London that he has "enough evidence" to plead his case and taunted authorities saying, "you can keep dreaming about a billion pounds".
He has been in the UK since March 2016 and was arrested by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on April 18.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) too is probing this case.