The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday transferred assets worth $1.14 billion to banks who suffered losses due to frauds by Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. The three fugitives cheated the public sector banks of $3.04 billion, out of which 80.45% ($2.4 billion) has been attached/seized by the ED, the agency said in a release.
With the latest transfer, assets worth $1.26 billion have been handed over to the banks so far, which amounts to 40% of their losses, the agency said. Thee include assets worth $40.4 million that were confiscated, the agency further said.
The ED said that it unearthed the money trail by exposing a web of domestic and international transactions and stashing of assets abroad. The investigation revealed that the three accused used dummy entities controlled by them for rotation and siphoning off the funds provided by the banks, it said.
The agency also said that extradition requests have been sent to countries where the three accused are living. While Mallya and Modi live in London (the UK), Choksi chose Antigua and Barbuda after running away from India.
Mallya has been denied permission to file appeal in the UK Supreme Court, which has made his extradition to India almost final. While Modi's extradition to India has also been cleared, Choksi is fighting a legal battle in Antigua to stop the court from sending him to India.
Mallya and Modi have been declared fugitive economic offenders by PMLA court in India, which looks after cases of money laundering.
While Mallya is accused of defrauding a consortium of banks of over $1.2 billion involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, both Modi and his uncle Choksi are wanted in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud worth $1.95 billion.
Modi was arrested on March 19, 2019, and was lodged at London's Wandsworth Prison. From the prison, he appeared on the hearings via video link as the case went on for years. Once extradited, Modi will be kept at Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, which kept a special cell ready for him at barrack 12. If lodged in this barrack, earlier prepared for Vijay Mallya, Modi is likely to get three square meters of personal space, where a cotton mat, pillow, bedsheet and blanket will be provided, reports said.