Mumbai: A consortium of India’s banks led by the country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), has realised Rs 792.11 crore after selling shares handed over to it by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), following confiscation to assets of fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, according to media reports.
The ED said that till date assets worth Rs 13,109.17 crore have been handed over to banks. Last month, the ED handed assets worth Rs 9,371.17 crore to banks and the government on behalf of these three people. The organisation has so far attached assets worth Rs 18,170.02 crore, which is 80.45 percent of total loss to banks caused by these three people.
The assets have been seized by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The lenders have been trying to recover money from the three businessmen, who have been elusive for years now. It’s been nearly seven years since Rs 9,000 crore of loans given to Vijay Mallya’s grounded Kingfisher Airlines was tagged NPA (non-performing asset), while diamantaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have caused losses nearly worth Rs 14,000 crore to Punjab National Bank (PNB).
Mallya, who fled to the UK, is being probed by the ED and the CBI for the alleged bank fraud linked to the operations of his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The liquor baron has lost his case against extradition to India and as he has been denied permission to file appeal in the UK Supreme Court, his extradition to India has become final, the ED had said.
Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi are wanted by Indian authorities in connection with the PNB scam, in which the duo is is accused of defrauding the bank of nearly Rs 14,000 crore. The fraud is said to be the largest in the history of Indian banking.
Modi, who also fled to the UK, lost the first stage of his extradition appeal in the High Court in London last month. His extradition to India was ordered in April by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in the estimated USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.
Meanwhile, on the run since 2018, Mehul Choksi had dramatically gone missing from Antigua and Barbuda on May 23 this year and later apprehended in Dominica. He was detained in neighbouring island country of Dominica for illegal entry but was granted bail and returned to Antigua on July 15. Indian authorities have been in touch with the Caribbean nation over Choksi’s extradition.