Armed with a non-bailable arrest warrant against him, ED has approached the External Affairs Ministry seeking initiation of deportation proceedings against liquor baron Vijay Mallya in connection with its money laundering probe against him in the Rs 900 crore IDBI alleged loan fraud case.
The agency has written to MEA and will also soon write to the CBI to get an Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) issued against the Rajya Sabha MP to get him arrested, based on the NBW directed by a Mumbai court. Only last week, the MEA had suspended Mallya’s diplomatic passport and has sought a reply from him as to why his passport should not be revoked as the ED said the businessman was not cooperating in the probe in the said case under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Sources said once the deportation proceedings are initiated, the MEA will seek assistance of their counterparts in the United Kingdom to interdict Mallya and fly him back to India. “The grounds for deportation are primarily two. A non-bailable warrant issued by the Mumbai court and suspension of the passport of the businessman,” they said. Mallya is understood to be in the UK after he left India on March 2.
A Hyderabad court had yesterday convicted Mallya in a cheque-bouncing case filed against him by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. With the latest request for deportation, the ED has virtually deployed all legal measures in place to bring back Mallya to India and make him join investigations “in person”, which the agency had stated in a Mumbai court was essential to take the probe forward in the case.
The 60-year-old industrialist has skipped three summons issued by ED in this regard in the past. He had also sought time till May to depose before agency investigators. ED has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.
The agency is not only investigating the financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines but also looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans from IDBI and probing laundering of funds to overseas destinations by the group.
The agency had alleged that Mallya had siphoned off Rs 430 crore of the IDBI loan and used this money to acquire properties abroad, a charge denied by Kingfisher.