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Mallya case: ED gets replies from half-a-dozen banks

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has got probe reports from half-a-dozen banks, out of the total 17, in connection with its money laundering investigation in the IDBI bank loan default case against beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya and others.

Vijay Mallya-AVOfficials said today the reports have been sent by at least six banks after agency investigators had sought their cooperation in sharing the details of loans extended by them to Mallya for business activities.

“The reports are being studied,” they said.

The ED had recently written to the 17 banks consortium, led by SBI, who lent money to the grounded Kingfisher Airlines and later went to the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) for recovery of these dues.

It has also sent official requests seeking details of the probe conducted by the Income Tax and Service Tax departments and the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) against the airline in the past.

The agency is also mulling taking appropriate “legal action” in case Mallya does not present himself or produce valid reasons for absenting before agency investigators as scheduled on March 18 in Mumbai.

It is understood that Mallya has not made any communication to the investigating officer of the case with regard to the ‘in person’ summons sent to him sometime back in the case being probed under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

An action for revocation of Mallya’s passports, both regular and diplomatic, will be taken as and when that is required, they said.

The central agency is also looking for details of overseas and domestic assets of Mallya and his company officials, in coordination with central security agencies and the CBI.

ED has already questioned two senior officials in the money laundering case, former Chief Financial Officer of the airlines A Raghunathan and former United Breweries Chief Financial Officer Ravi Nedungadi along with few other people accused in the case.

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