ED probing `money laundering' by Vijay Mallya; DRT order expected today

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against liquor baron Vijay Mallya and others in connection with the alleged default of over Rs900 crore loan from IDBI Bank, in what could be a fresh worry for him.

Reports quoting official sources said the agency has already filed charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI in the same case.

The ED's zonal office in Mumbai has registered the case and investigators are probing the overall financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher airlines and a separate probe under foreign exchange violation charges could also be initiated, it added.

"Mallya and others will soon be questioned. The agency has collected relevant documents from concerned authorities and the bank in question," the report quoted officers as saying.

The ED has registered charges under various sections of the PMLA against Mallya and others named in the CBI complaint.

The CBI had booked Mallya, director of Kingfisher Airlines, the company, chief financial officer of the airlines A Raghunathan and unknown officials of IDBI Bank in its FIR alleging that the loan was sanctioned in violation of norms regarding credit limits.

The ED is looking into the "proceeds of crime" that would have been generated using the slush funds of the alleged loan fraud, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Debt Recovery Tribunal is expected to deliver an order in the case today.

Former employees of Kingfisher Airlines have also gone public against Mallya and the company alleging they have been cheated of their remuneration and service benefits.

Mallya had yesterday said he is making efforts to reach a 'one-time settlement' with banks through additional payments to the lenders.