Agency seized assets as part of probe
The Enforcement Directorate has transferred assets worth ₹8,441.50 crore to public sector banks that suffered losses to the tune of ₹22,585.83 crore due to frauds committed allegedly by Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. All three accused had fled overseas.
The agency said it recently transferred attached shares worth ₹6,600 crore to a State Bank of India-led consortium as per an order of PMLA Special Court, Mumbai.
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On Wednesday, the Debt Recovery Tribunal, on behalf of the consortium, sold the shares of United Breweries Limited for ₹5,824.50 crore. Further realisation of ₹800 crore by sale of shares is expected by June 25.
Owing to the help extended by the ED, the public sector banks had earlier recovered ₹1,357 crore by selling the shares. “Thus, the banks shall be realising a total amount of ₹9,041.50 crore through sale of a part of the assets attached/seized by the ED…,” said the agency.
As on date, of the total attachment worth ₹18,170.02 crore, assets valued ₹329.67 crore have been confiscated and properties worth ₹9,041.50 crore — amounting to 40% of the total loss to the banks — have been handed over to them.
Based on the cases registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the ED had taken up money laundering probe that helped unearth a complex web of domestic and international transactions and stashing of assets abroad by the accused persons and their associates. They had used dummy entities controlled by them for rotation and siphoning of the funds provided by the banks.
As part of the investigation, the ED took steps to attach or seize assets worth ₹18,170.02 crore, which included properties worth ₹969 crore located in foreign countries. “The quantum of the attached and seized assets represents 80.45% of total bank loss of ₹ 22,585.83 crore,” said the agency.
A substantial part of the assets in question was held in the name of dummy entities, trusts, third persons or relatives of these accused and these entities were their proxies for holding the properties.
Prosecution complaints were filed against all the three accused after completion of the investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Extradition requests were sent for them to the United Kingdom (Mr. Mallya and Mr. Modi) and Antigua and Barbuda (Mr. Choksi).
The extradition of Mr. Mallya has been ordered by the Westminster Magistrates Court and confirmed by the U.K. High Court. As he has been denied permission to file an appeal in the U.K. Supreme Court, his extradition to India has become final. However, the matter is pending with the U.K.’s Home Department for quite some time now.
The Westminster Magistrates Court had also ordered the extradition of Mr. Modi to India. After his arrest in 2019, on a request from the Indian authorities, he has been in judicial custody in a London jail for the last over two years.
Mr. Choksi, who was recently found in Dominica after he disappeared from Antigua under mysterious circumstances, is also facing extradition proceedings. He has alleged that he was abducted by some persons.
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