Published On : Wed, Apr 13th, 2016

Money laundering probe: ED seeks revocation of Vijay Mallya’s passport in IDBI case

New Delhi/Nagpur: After the liquor baron failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) despite being summoned thrice, the agency on Wednesday sought revocation of Vijay Mallya’s passport in connection with money laundering probe in over Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case.

Officials said the agency has written to the Ministry of External Affairs to take action under the Passport Act, 1967 and ask the Regional Passport Office (RPO) here to revoke the diplomatic passport of the beleaguered businessman as he has turned out to be “un-cooperative” with its investigators probing a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at its zonal office in Mumbai.

They said once the ED request is okayed, the MEA will inform UK authorities about the same and seek for his deportation to India.

Under the Passport Act, when a person is issued a diplomatic passport, their regular international travel document gets deposited and when a revocation is sought for the former is sought, the latter too gets cancelled.

Mallya had last week informed the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case in Mumbai that he will be unable to depose personally citing the ongoing legal proceedings going on in the Supreme Court over settlement of loans.

He, however, had suggested his legal team could help ED in taking the probe forward. The agency had issued fresh summons last week to Mallya asking him to appear on April 9 after he sought two extensions from the earlier dates of March 18 and April 2.

Officials had earlier said the agency has by and large two options in case an accused skips appearance on summons thrice, the maximum time allowed under the scheme of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for alleged default of loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore from various banks, was also directed by the apex court to disclose all assets owned by him and his family in India and abroad by April 21.

He is reported to be in the UK after he left India on March 2. ED has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI. The agency is also investigating financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans.