India on Sunday revoked the passport of Vijay Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines has been accused of defaulting bank loans of over Rs 9,400 crore, in a step closer to initiating his deportation.
The Ministry of External Affairs today revoked businessman Vijay Mallya’s passport under different sections of passport act.
The agency had alleged that Mallya had siphoned off Rs 430 crore of the IDBI loan and used this money to acquire properties overseas, a charge denied by Kingfisher.
ED has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered a year ago by the CBI.
They said the government was also considering issuing a red corner notice by Interpol against Mallya.
Armed with a non-bailable arrest warrant against him, the Enforcement Directorate, ED has approached the External Affairs Ministry seeking initiation of deportation proceedings against Vijay Mallya in connection with its money laundering probe against him. Earlier the Indian government said that it was committed towards bringing back Mallya and was considering steps for his deportation.
The foreign ministry suspended Mallya’s passport earlier this month, a few weeks after the Attorney General said he had left India.
Mallya has not disclosed his whereabouts since he flew first class out of New Delhi airport on March 2, his departure embarrassing the government at a time when it and the central bank have pledged to crack down on bank loan defaulters.
India has revoked the passport of a flamboyant Indian businessman accused of fleeing to London in March while owing more than a billion dollars to Indian banks. The agency is also investigating the financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and is looking into any payment of kickbacks it made to secure loan the loan.
A spokesman for Mallya’s UB Group declined to comment. That was the third time that the ED had summoned him, but Mr. Mallya had sought an extension on the previous occasions.