Vijay Mallya money laundering case: ED to conduct forensic audit
Mallya left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.
ED may go for a forensic audit of the electronic platforms on which the accounts and transactions of the group companies of liquor baron Vijay Mallya were being conducted in order to take forward its money laundering probe against him in the alleged Rs 900-crore IDBI bank loan fraud case.
Officials said the agency is putting together a software in order to connect the platforms of transaction in connection with the criminal probe which spreads to the 17-bank consortium which has provided loans to Mallya's firms including the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines (KFA).
They said the work in this direction will begin soon after forensic and technical experts from Enforcement Directorate and the banks sit together. The audit is expected to prepare leads against the alleged financial irregulaities and at the same time also prepare vital evidence in the case, they said.
Only yesterday, captain of the 17-bank consortium, SBI, and ED met in Mumbai to thrash out a strategy for recovery of loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore borrowed by Mallya and KFA.
The meeting was arranged by the Finance Ministry so that the two sides can discuss the loan default by Mallya and his companies and also chart the way forward. The two sides are understood to have shared notes and details of probe they have undertaken till now in the case which is also being heard by the Supreme Court.
ED is probing Mallya and KFA under anti-money laundering laws in connection with a Rs 900-crore loan default of IDBI.
IDBI and 16 other banks have formed a consortium led by State Bank of India to pursue these cases against Mallya and his companies.The agency, which wants Mallya to join the probe in this case "in person", is also mulling preparations to attach his foreign and domestic assets under PMLA.
It has virtually exhausted all legal options to make Mallya join the probe including issuance of a non-bailable warrant against him by a Mumbai court based on which it made the requests for revocation of his passport and subsequent deportation bid to bring back the beleaguered businessman from the UK.
However, the United Kingdom had early this month made it clear that the liquor baron cannot be deported and asked India to seek his extradition instead.
ED is understood to be considering legal options on this issue apart from issuing Letters Rogatories (judicial requests) to at least seven countries.
Mallya left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport. The agency has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by CBI. It is also investigating the financial structure of Kingfisher Airlines and looking into whether any kickbacks were paid to secure loans.