Enforcement Directorate has seized assets worth 1.6 million euros (Rs 14.35 crore) in France belonging to fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya. In a statement on Friday, the probe agency said that it seized Mallya's property located at 32 Avenue FOCH through the French authorities.
"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 (approximately Rs 14 crores). Investigations conducted under PMLA revealed that a large amount was remitted abroad from the bank account of Kingfisher Airlines," ED said.
ED said that since investigation began in January 2016, assets worth Rs 11,231.70 crore belonging to Mallya have been attached.
The action against Mallya comes as he fights India's efforts to extradite him in the UK courts. Last month, India strongly underlined its interest in the liquor baron's expeditious extradition during talks between Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in London.
Supreme Court had asked Centre on November 2 to file status report in six weeks on the proceedings pending in the UK for Mallya's extradition to India. The bench of Justices UU Lalit and Ashok Bhushan also refused to accept the plea of advocate E C Agarwala, who has been appearing for Mallya in the apex court, seeking discharge from the case.
Mallya, wanted in India over fraud and money laundering charges in relation to loans taken out by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines from state-owned Indian banks, has been found to have a case to answer in India by the UK courts. He is currently on bail, undergoing a "confidential" legal issue before Priti Patel can consider signing off on his extradition order.
The matter is expected to be taken up prominently when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visit India in 2021. Notably, India has invited Johnson to attend the Republic Day celebrations next year as the chief guest of the event.