Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya laundered Rs 1,301.67 crore though various shell companies in India and abroad, according to a complaint by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before the special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), a report in the Hindustan Times (HT) on Thursday said.
The agency suspects that Mallya has around 13 such shell companies in the United States, Ireland, Mauritius and France. In its complaint, ED said that the only purpose of these companies under Mallya's control was to either obtain loans or launder money, the report said, quoting the ED complaint.
The central agency had last month filed a chargesheet against Mallya and nine others, including top officials of IDBI bank, from where Mallya had obtained a loan of Rs 950 crore. Taking cognisance of the complaint of the central agency, the PMLA court issued arrest warrants against all the accused, the report said.
In its complaint, the ED listed various shell companies including M/s PE Data Centre Resources Private Limited, M/s Pharma Trading Limited, M/s Kingfisher Finvest Limited, Devi Investment Private Limited, M/s Mallya Investment Private Limited, and M/s Gem Investment.
The agency claimed these shell companies had no actual activities and their directors were ex-employees of Mallya's United Breweries group, the HT report said. The agency further claimed that some of the companies had not even hired employees and only these directors were on the payroll. The agency alleged that these companies were directly under Mallya's control.
The agency alleged that one of the shell companies – PE data Centre Resources Private Limited -- had obtained a loan of Rs 100 crore and funds were transferred to the account of Kingfisher Airlines.
The agency claimed that Mallya had parked around half of the loan amount obtained from IDBI bank outside India in shell companies he had set up. "Out of Rs 900 crore, Rs 417.29 crore has been remitted out of India for payments shown to be made towards aircraft rental lease, maintenance, services and several such purposes. However, no documents were submitted to support such transaction. Thus, it appears to be laundering," the HT report quoted the complaint as saying.
The report said that the ED examined the lease rates and amount paid towards maintenance and other services by other airlines and by Kingfisher and found discrepancies in what Mallya's firm had done. In this context, the HT report said that the agency cited payments made to two Mauritius-based firms, Veling Narain Ltd and Veling Sacheedanand Ltd, towards lease and maintenance of aircraft and pointed out that these were nothing but shell companies with former UB group employees as directors.
The agency said it had so far managed to attach immovable property worth Rs 807.82 crore owned by Mallya. The agency claimed that Mallya has huge amounts of property in the US in the name of his daughters Leana and Tanya, HT said.
The agency further alleged in its complaint that Mallya had a total of 291.31 acres in several villages in Karnataka, including Bilgeri, Coorg, Madekeri, and Kumboor. However, when the situation started getting worse, the agency claimed that Mallya managed to dispose of 264.80 acres in January 2016. The agency claimed that the transactions were done in a rush.
The HT report added that the central agency is continuing its probe into the property and accounts held by Mallya outside India.