BENGALURU: Vijay Mallya, former chairman of United Spirits, said the move by Enforcement Directorate (ED) to provisionally attach his movable and immovable properties and that of United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL) will make it difficult to raise money to repay the banks.
The ED on Saturday attached properties worth Rs 1,411 crore of Mallya and UBHL, the holding company of UB Group, as part of its Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) probe of a Rs 900 crore IDBI loan default case against the former liquor baron.
“Most recent media reports and a tweet from the ED suggest that the ED have attached various properties belonging to myself and United Breweries Holdings Limited which is a public Company and not even the subject of any ED investigation. The assets purportedly attached under PMLA date back to several years prior to the launch of Kingfisher Airlines. There is no rationale nor any legal basis for the series of actions initiated by the ED,” Mallya said in a statement late on Sunday.
“Purely civil matters such as loan recovery are being connected with criminal allegations without any basis whatsoever,” he added.
Mallya said he was “deeply pained” to read about government agencies planning further unprecedented action against him. “Now the ED’s latest move seems to be to approach the PMLA Court to declare me a proclaimed absconder for reasons that I cannot understand. It surely appears as if these agencies are pursuing a heavily biased investigation and are already holding me guilty without trial after which I need to prove my innocence.”
Mallya has been negotiating with a consortium of banks, led by SBI, to pay of his loans worth more than Rs 6,000 crore related to now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
The provisional attachment of eight immovable properties include one flat in Bengaluru and Mumbai (2,291 and 1,300 sq ft respectively) each, an industrial plot in Chennai (4.5 acres), a coffee plantation plot in Coorg (28.75 acres), a residential and commercial constructed area in UB City and the Kingfisher Tower in Bengaluru (840,279 sq ft).
Credits ET Realty