NEW DELHI: After Britain declined India’s request to deport Vijay Mallya, ED has now sought an Interpol arrest warrant against the liquor baron to make him join investigations in connection with a money laundering probe case.
Officials said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has written to CBI to obtain a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Mallya from the global police body. CBI acts as the nodal office for execution of Interpol warrants in India.
An RCN is issued “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action” in a criminal case probe.
Once the said notice is issued, the Interpol seeks to arrest the person concerned in any part of the world and notifies that country to take his or her custody for further action at their end.
The agency has been wanting to make Mallya join investigations “in person” in the over Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case in which it registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) early this year.
It has virtually exhausted most of the legal options to make Mallya join the probe including issuance of a non-bailable warrant against him from a Mumbai court based on which it made the requests for the revocation of his passport and subsequent deportation bid to bring back the businessman from the UK.
However, Britain has made it clear that Mallya cannot be deported and asked India to seek his extradition instead.
The British government said it acknowledges “the seriousness of allegations” against Mallya and was “keen to assist” the Indian government in this case.
ED is also mulling attaching domestic assets and shares worth about Rs 9,000 crore owned by Mallya in this case.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday said in Parliament that India will now have to initiate extradition process after a charge sheet is filed to bring back the embattled tycoon to face money laundering charges as well as recovery of the Rs 9,400 crore of loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Cancellation of passport “does not result in automatic deportation, that is the stand taken by UK,” Jaitley had said.
Officials, however, had said filing a charge sheet is a time-consuming process and hence some other legal options will surely be mulled to make Mallya join probe in India, not only by the ED but by the CBI too.
Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.
The ED has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.
The agency is also investigating financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans.–PTI