Fugitive billionaire Vijay Mallya‘s assets in France worth 1.6 million euros have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate, the probe agency said in a statement today.
“On the request of Directorate of Enforcement (ED), a property of Vijay Mallya located at 32 Avenue FOCH, France has been seized by the French Authority. The value of the seized asset in France is 1.6 million euros (Rs 14 crore). Investigations revealed that a large amount was remitted abroad from the bank account of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd,” the ED said in a statement.
The ED in the statement said it has so far attached assets worth ₹ 11,231 crore.
The latest seizure of Mr Mallya’s assets comes as India fights a legal battle to extradite him from the UK. The founder of now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines is wanted for defaulting on loans worth up to ₹ 9,000 crore.
He has been living in the UK since March 2016 and has been fighting his extradition to India. The 64-year-old’s extradition was ordered by a British court in May but has been delayed by a confidential legal matter initiated in the country, the government told the Supreme Court last month.
Vijay Mallya, who denies the charges against him, has repeatedly said that Indian banks can take back 100 per cent of the principal amount owed to them.
The British government has said that Mr Mallya – who has been named a fugitive economic offender in India – cannot be extradited till the resolution of the confidential legal matter and that it is trying to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
His extradition would be a huge win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has faced pressure from political opponents to bring to justice several people who have fled India in recent years to escape prosecution, many for loan defaults.
The co-owner of the Formula One motor racing team Force India, which went into administration in 2018, was nicknamed “the King of Good Times” after the slogan of one of his premium beers and his hard-partying lifestyle.