Vijay Mallya's passport revoked

     
April 24, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday revoked the passport of liquor baron and owner of the now shut down Kingfisher airlines Vijay Mallya, accused of defaulting on bank loans of over Rs 9,000 cr and money laundering. He is at present in London evading arrest.

"Having considered the replies furnished by Vijay Mallya to the show cause notice, facts brought by Enforcement Directorate and non-bailable warrant under the PMLA Act, 2002 issued by special judge, Mumbai, the MEA revoked the passport of Vijay Mallya under section 10 (3) (c) and 10 (3)(h) of the Passports Act, 1967," MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

The Enforcement Directorate had written to the MEA seeking assistance in bringing back Mallya to India through diplomatic channels. Sources said the agency had written that the ministry should take the initiative in this regard.

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court had directed the ED to execute the non-bailable warrant against Mallya in a case of laundering Rs 9000 crore. The ED has alleged that Mallya diverted Rs. 430 crores for purchase of a property abroad from the Rs.950 crores IDBI loan for his Kingfisher Airlines.

The MEA had earlier suspended Mallya's diplomatic passport for a period of four weeks under Section 10-A of the Passports Act.

Mallya, a Member of Parliament, was Chairman of the UB Group and co-owner of Force India Formula 1. He had huge investments in liquor manufacture, Kingfisher airline, Formula One team and an Indian Premier League cricket club. Launched in 2005, his Kingfisher Airlines crashed first. The crisis began years ago with nonpayment of thousands of employees including pilots and engineers. His flagship United Spirits Limited was transferred to Diageo recently. His flashy lifestyle had indulged models, celebs and cricketers on a 24x7 scale.

Mallya had asserted that he is not trying to evade the law enforcement agencies and is on a personal visit to the UK. The Kingfisher Airlines chairman had last month submitted a proposal before the Supreme Court to repay Rs 4000 crores of bad debt by September 30, 2016.

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