Beleaguered Mallya Plays His Trump Card – NRI Status

Sources in the Enforcement Directorate said the agency was looking into the details of at least three properties.

Published: 22nd April 2016 03:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2016 03:32 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI:   Liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday, refused to divulge details of his assets abroad arguing that it was a private matter and never considered while granting loans to him. He sought permission from the court to submit information on his assets in a sealed envelope on April 26.

However, sources in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said the agency was looking into the details of at least three properties, which Mallya owns in the Trump Plaza, one of  Manhattan’s most prestigious buildings. According to an American property website, Cityrealty, Trump Plaza was developed by Donald Trump who could well be the Republican Party’s nominee in the US Presidential elections.

Mallya did not give details of his foreign assets even in the election affidavit filed in June, 2010 when he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka. Sources said it was not illegal to buy a property abroad but since the ED is probing the money laundering angle in the IDBI bank loan case, it is looking into the purchase of three flats in Trump Plaza. Sources also pointed out that Mallya did not disclose these properties in the election affidavit where declaration of immovabale assets is mandatory. Two properties, 39-D, 167 East 61 ST Street and PHE 167 E 61, were bought by Mallya jointly with his then minor daughter, Tanya Mallya. The records of New York City Department of Finance reveals that 39-D flat was bought on March 3, 2010  in the name of Vijay Mallya as the natural guardian of Tanya Mallya. Records show that the second property-PHE 167 E 61 was bought by Mallya on May 19, 2010 where too he is the natural guardian and Tanya Mallya is shown as the co-owner.

Mallya bought the third property -38PHA, 167 East, 61 ST Street on September 16, 2010. New York City Department of Finance record shows Vijay Mallya as its sole owner. ED sources said they are examining the details related to all three properties at Trump Plaza.

Mallya claimed that as an NRI, he was not obliged to disclose his overseas assets and his three children, wife – all US citizens – also need not disclose their assets. He argued that statement of assets was confined to assets in India, and that as an NRI, he is not obliged to disclose overseas assets even to income tax authorities in his Indian tax returns.

ED Moves Deportation Proceedings

Three days after the ED secured a non-bailable warrant against liquor baron Vijay Mallya from a Mumbai court in connection with the alleged default of an over-`900-crore loan from IDBI bank, the agency has approached the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday seeking initiation of deportation proceedings against him. The warrant against the business tycoon was open-dated and issued after the ED, probing the case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Mallya and his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines, approached court and sought an NBW. The agency has written to MEA and will also soon write to the CBI to get an Interpol red corner notice issued against Mallya to get him arrested.

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