BENGALURU: The French authorities have seized a property of former liquor baron Vijay Mallya worth 1.6m Euros (Rs 14 crore) at the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“Investigations conducted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, have revealed that a large amount was remitted abroad from the bank account of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd (KAL),” the agency said.
The latest seizure of Mallya’s overseas assets comes as India awaits the extradition of the 64-year-old former Parliamentarian from the UK. Mallya is wanted for defaulting on loans worth up to Rs 9,000 crore.
He has been living in the UK since March 2016 and has been fighting his extradition to India. He lost his last appeal against extradition in the British Supreme Court in May this year but his extradition has been delayed by a “confidential legal matter” initiated in the UK.
The ED had initiated investigation under the PMLA based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against KAL, Mallya and others on January 25, 2016.
The ED had earlier issued Provisional Attachment Orders (PAOs) wherein properties worth Rs 11231.70 crore (market value at the time of attachment) were attached, which was also confirmed by the leading adjudicating authority. The ED had filed a prosecution complaint against Mallya, United Brewery (Holdings) Limited (UBHL), KAL, bank officials and others.
The ED had also moved an application before the designated court to declare Mallya as a Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO) following which the special court (FEO Act), Mumbai, had declared Mallya an FEO on January 5, 2019.