Mumbai: Issuing summons to beleaguered business tycoon Vijay Mallya, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today beckoned the liquor baron to appear before its investigators by March 18th as part of its probe in the alleged loan defaults by his group to the tune of over Rs 900 crore to IDBI bank. The ED also questioned a senior executive of Kingfisher airlines.
"The summons have been issued to Mallya under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with the IDBI case," they said.
The sources said Mallya has also been asked to furnish documents related to his personal finances.
The summons were issued on a day when A Raghunathan, a former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, appeared before ED investigators at its office in the Ballard Pier area here.
"We had summoned Raghunathan and he appeared before us for questioning this morning.
"His questioning is important to throw light on various financial transactions, as many of them are in his personal domain," said an ED official.
The ED had issued summons to over half a dozen officials of the IDBI bank and Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) under provisions of the PMLA wherein all the individuals have been asked to submit details about their personal finances and Income Tax Returns (ITRs) of last five years to the investigators.
According to the official, in his statement to the SFIO--recorded last month--, Raghunathan has put the blame on Mallya for the financial crisis that felled KFA and said he worked as per the directions from the latter.
Apart from Raghunathan, summons have also been issued to former Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, Yogesh Agarwal and other senior executive members and officials of both the organisations.
The ED recently registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on a CBI FIR registered last year. The agency is also investigating the overall financial structure of Kingfisher Airlines and will look into any payment of kickbacks.
The ED has pressed charges under various sections of the PMLA against Mallya and others named in the CBI complaint.
The CBI had booked Mallya, director of Kingfisher Airlines, the company, Raghunathan and unknown officials of IDBI Bank in its FIR alleging that the loan was sanctioned in violation of norms regarding credit limits.
The ED is looking into the "proceeds of crime" that would have been generated using the slush funds of the alleged loan fraud and it is also probing if some of this amount was sent abroad illegally, they said.
The Attorney General had informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that he has been informed by CBI that that Mallya has left the country on March 2.
(With PTI inputs)