Vijay Mallya’s UB Group denies ED charge of siphoning money to buy foreign properties
New Delhi: Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s UB Group has refuted the Enforcement Directorate (ED) allegation that it siphoned off nearly Rs 430 crore from the loan (Rs 950) extended to Kingfisher Airlines by IDBI bank for acquiring property abroad.
In a late night statement on Sunday, the UB Group also termed ED’s move seeking a non-bailable warrant against him as ‘erroneous’ and ‘unjustified’.
The group said that it would provide full details of foreign exchange remittances in the next few days. "In order to explain foreign exchange remittances all of which have been fully accounted for, we will provide full details in the next few days," the statement said.
It said the audited accounts of Kingfisher Airlines show that the money was borrowed for legitimate business purpose and that the allegation was ‘shocking’.
"The allegation made by the Enforcement Directorate before the PMLA Court that they have stumbled upon evidence that Rs 430 crores was transferred overseas for property acquisition is strenuously denied," it added.
The UB Group statement further said, "The audited accounts of Kingfisher Airlines including for the year ended 31.3.2010 show all foreign exchange transactions which includes funds borrowed from IDBI Bank were used for legitimate business purposes only."
Multiple investigations have been going on since July 2015 and this allegation has never been made, the statement said.
"We are shocked at the allegation made by the Enforcement Department before the PMLA Court for the very first time," it said, adding that "the basis of seeking a Non Bailable Warrant against our Chairman is erroneous and unjustified".
The ED had on Saturday told a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court that Mallya invested about half of the Rs 950 crore loan taken from IDBI Bank in properties outside India. The court was hearing a plea by the agency seeking a non-bailable arrest warrant and a red-corner notice against Mallya who owes over Rs 9,000 crore to lenders. The PMLA court reserved its order until Monday.
Mallya, now in Britain, is charged with siphoning off a portion of money involving IDBI loan of Rs 950 crore, which he had borrowed for Kingfisher Airlines. On April 15, the Ministry of External Affairs had suspended the diplomatic passport of Mallya, a Rajya Sabha MP.
With PTI Inputs