Days after CBI registered FIR against business tycoon Vijay Mallya after raiding his residences and his defunct Kingfisher Airlines in the case of a Rs 900 crore loan by IDBI bank in violation of banking norms, the investigation agency is likely to register more FIRs against the liquor baron and his company for alleged diversion of bank loans to tax havens.
Loans taken by Mallya amounting to Rs 4,000 crores from 11 state-run banks are under CBI scanner. CBI has received inputs that Mallya’s company has diverted about Rs 1300 crores to tax havens like Cayman Islands and Mauritius from the money loaned from banks.
“The remaining Rs 3100 crore loans from 10 other banks on which the company has defaulted are also under scanner,” a senior CBI official told Times of India .
Tax haven states or countries levy certain taxes at a very low rate or not at all. Usually, countries having in place a system of strict financial secrecy are also referred as tax haven states.
Apart from the IDBI bank, 10 other banks – UCO Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, Vijaya Bank, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Bank of India, United Bank of India, State Bank of Mysore and India Overseas Bank – are under CBI’s scrutiny. The banks will have to explain why the loans were extended to the defunct airline while ignoring their internal reports against such a move.
A case of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servant and corruption, was registered against the airline as well as its director Mallya, who is also an independent Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, chief financial officer A Raghunathan and unnamed bank officials following raids at five places – at the airline’s offices and at residences of Mallya and others in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Panaji on Saturday, CBI officials said.
Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines was virtually grounded on October 1, 2012 after the passenger carrier cancelled all 50 flights following a section of its employees going on strike leaving thousands stranded.
Battling huge debt, the airline failed to pay dues running into crores to its service providers, including state-run oil firms, Airport Authority of India (AAI) and consortiums of Mumbai and Bengaluru airports.
Kingfisher lost its operator’s licence on October 20, 2012.