Mallya bought properties worth Rs 330 cr in England, France even as Kingfisher Airlines was in crisis: CBI
Mumbai, Mar 22 (PTI) Beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya bought properties worth Rs 330 crore in England and France during 2015-16 even as his Kingfisher Airlines was facing a cash crunch at that time and banks had not recovered the loans defaulted by the liquor baron, the CBI has claimed in its supplementary chargesheet filed in a court here. Mallya is an accused in the alleged over Rs 900 crore IDBI Bank-Kingfisher Airlines loan fraud case being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The central agency recently filed a supplementary chargesheet before a special CBI court here. Along with all the 11 accused named in the earlier chargesheets, the probe agency has added the name of Buddhadev Dasgupta, former general manager of IDBI Bank in its latest supplementary chargesheet. The probe agency alleged that by abusing his official position, Dasgupta conspired with the officers of IDBI Bank and Vijay Mallya in the matter of sanction and disbursement of the short-term loan (STL) of Rs 150 crore in October 2009. The said loan of Rs 150 crore as envisaged originally by Dasgupta (by proposal circulated among credit committee members) was to be adjusted/repaid from the aggregate loan of Rs 750 crore originally sought by the airlines. However, after circulation, there was change in the proposal to show as if the credit committee had treated this as a separate loan, which may (or may not) be adjusted/recovered from the aggregate loan. The chargesheet said the exposure of IDBI Bank was to be restricted to the aggregate amount of Rs 750 crore, but it became Rs 900 crore in December 2009 because the STL of Rs 150 crore was kept as a separate loan, largely at the behest of Dasgupta. During the course of investigation, letters rogatory (LRs) had been sent to the United Kingdom, Mauritius, the USA and Switzerland as per the permission of the CBI court. Courts of one country seek the assistance of the courts in another for the administration of justice there through letters rogatory. The chargesheet mentioned the evidence collected during foreign investigation from these countries. "The properties in the UK (Ladywalk in 2015-16 for GBP 12-13 million or Rs 80 crore) and France ('Le Grand Jardin' in 2008 for Euro 35 million or Rs 250 crore approximately) were acquired by Mallya even as Kingfisher Airlines was facing severe a cash crunch (2008) and the lenders were yet to recover the loans defaulted upon by Mallya and the Airlines (2015-16)," it said. The chargesheet claimed that Mallya had adequate funds at his disposal between 2008 and 2016-17, but none of it was brought to support the airlines as equity infusion or to honour his obligations as a personal guarantor for the loans availed by KAL from IDBI and other banks in India. The chargesheet, citing the evidence collected through LRs, said that sizable amounts were transferred to Force India Formula 1 Team between 2008 and 2012, it said. The chargesheet further said that significant amounts were diverted from 2007 to 2012-13 and used to make payments towards acquisition and repayment of loan for the corporate jet used personally by Mallya. Besides the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also probing a money laundering case against Mallya. On January 5, 2019, a special court in Mumbai had declared Mallya a 'fugitive'. Under the provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, once a person is declared a fugitive economic offender, the prosecuting agency has the powers to confiscate his property.