ED transfers Rs 9,371-cr assets seized from Mallya, Nirav, Choksi to PSBs

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has transferred a portion of the assets valued at Rs 8,441 crore it had seized in connection with cases related to the three fugitive economic offenders — Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi — to state-run banks.

With this, the total transfer of the attached assets stat Rs 9,371 crore, the agency said on Wednesday. This amounts to 40 per cent of the banks’ losses, the agency clarified.

According to the federal agency, the State Bank of India (SBI)-led consortium on Wednesday recovered Rs 5,824 crore in the Mallya case by selling some United Breweries (UB) shares through the Dispute Resolution Tribunal as directed by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court.

In the Mallya case, the ED recently transferred Rs 6,600 crore worth of assets.

In the Nirav matter, it transferred Rs 1,060 crore to Punjab National Bank.

The SBI consortium is also in the process of recovering Rs 800 crore this week by liquidating some more UB shares, taking the total recovery to Rs 7,981 crore. This includes the earlier recovered amount of Rs 1,357 crore by banks in the case.

The banks will be realising a total amount of Rs 7,981.5 crore this week through a sale of a part of the assets attached/seized by the ED under the provisions of PMLA, the agency pointed out.

Besides, the federal agency revealed that the three offenders have defrauded the public sector banks (PSBs) of Rs 22,586 crore, of which 80 per cent (or Rs 18,170 crore) has been attached/seized by the ED.

These include the recent attachment of assets worth Rs 329 crore, the agency further said.

Sources said the agency is in the process of attaching further assets worth Rs 4,000 crore to cover the total amount defrauded. This may include foreign assets as well.

Responding to the action, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday tweeted, “Fugitives economic offenders will be actively pursued; their properties attached dues recovered.”

She further tweeted, “PSBs have already recovered Rs 1,357 crore by selling such shares. A total of Rs 9,041 crore shall be realised by banks through the sale of such attached assets.”

According to the federal agency, it unearthed the money trail by exposing a web of domestic international transactions unearthing assets stashed abroad. The investigation revealed that the three accused used dummy entities controlled by them for rotation siphoning off the funds provided by the banks, it said.

The agency also said that the extradition requests have been sent to countries where the three accused are holed up. Mallya Nirav live in London, while Choksi fled to Antigua.

Mallya has been denied permission to file an appeal in the UK Supreme Court, which has made his extradition to India almost final.

Nirav’s extradition to India is in its final leg.

Choksi has been contesting a legal battle in Antigua against his extradition process.

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