Armed with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court order declaring former liquor baron Vijay Mallya a fugitive economic offender (FEO), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has kicked off the process of compiling a list of immovable property estimated at Rs 1,200 crore and shares worth Rs 11,000 crore for confiscation.
“The hearing on the second part of the application that is for confiscation of properties mentioned in the application and the list annexed to the central government would be commenced from the next date,” the operative part of the order said.
“The value of the assets is far more than the amount owed by Mallya to the banks. He has reiterated multiple times that he is willing to pay the debt. The regulators are singing to a political tune,” a top lawyer close to Mallya told ET.
A fugitive economic offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for committing a scheduled offence and who has left India to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
Mallya currently faces extradition from the United Kingdom, where the liquor baron fled to in 2016, after a court ordered his return to India to face fraud charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya left India in March 2016 owing more than $1 billion after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds. The loans from the state-owned IDBI bank were intended to bail out his failed carrier Kingfisher Airlines.