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‘Damned if you do and damned if you don’t’: Vijay Mallya’s latest attack on banks

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ED have launched probes against Vijay Mallya over allegations levelled by a consortium of 17 banks that provided loans to the now-defunct airline.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2019 08:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vijay Mallya,Vijay Mallya attack on banks
Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya leaves after an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, in central London.(REUTERS)

Vijay Mallya has attacked public sector banks once again, a day after more than 74 lakh shares held by the fugitive liquor baron in United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL) were sold for over Rs 1,000 crore.

“So much so for branding me a thief who stole PSU Bank money and ran away. Banks have made a substantial recovery in the past and also today. All included in my settlement proposal too. Damned if you do and Damned if you don’t is how I am treated,” he tweeted.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday that the sale of 74,04,932 shares held by Vijay Mallya in the United Breweries Holdings (UBHL) Limited by Bengaluru-based Debt Recovery Tribunal fetched Rs 1,008 crore.

Also read: ‘Double standards’: Vijay Mallya tweet attacks Centre after Jet Airways loan

The shares attached by the agency as part of its money laundering probe against the liquor baron were with Yes Bank and the Karnataka High Court had recently ordered the bank to surrender these “in favour of” the tribunal. These shares of United Breweries Limited were held by UBHL and kept with the Yes Bank as security “in lieu of” a loan taken by Kingfisher Airlines, it said.

Officials said this was the first such sale of shares in this case and few more will be sold in the days to come.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ED have launched probes against him over allegations levelled by a consortium of 17 banks that provided loans to the now-defunct airline.

The controversial businessman, who is contesting India’s extradition bid in UK courts, had tweeted on Tuesday offering to return the money he owns several banks as he hit out at the NDA government for its “double standards” for not helping him out.

In a series of tweets, Vijay Mallya pointed out that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government did nothing for him even though he invested crores of rupees into his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The tweets came a day after a consortium of lenders led by the State Bank of India took control of Jet Airways to save the airline from bankruptcy.

The 63-year-old businessman is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017 after Indian authorities brought fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crore against him. The former Kingfisher Airlines boss flew out of India to the United Kingdom in March 2016 around the same time, the government says, agencies closed in on him for bank fraud.

Vijay Mallya became the first Indian businessman to be declared a fugitive economic offender by a special court in Mumbai on January 5.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 08:24 IST