Enforcement Directorate has sought revocation the liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s passport for his alleged role in money laundering and the ongoing probe in the Rs 900 crore IDBI bank loan fraud case.
Quoting officials, news agency PTI reported that the ED had written to the Ministry of External Affairs to take action under the Passport Act, 1967 and ask the Regional Passport Office (RPO) to revoke the diplomatic passport of the beleaguered businessman.
The billionaire tycoon, the agency said, has been ‘uncooperative’ with its investigators probing a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at its zonal office in Mumbai.
Mallya had reportedly left the country for UK on 2 March using a diplomatic passport issued to him by virtue of him being a sitting Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament.
The ED is learnt to have communicated its frustration to the MEA saying that despite having given him three dates, as requested by Mallya, the latter had failed to cooperate with the agency.
The MEA will inform the UK authorities about the revocation once the ED’s request is approved, paving the way for India to seek his deportation.
Mallya had thrice failed to appear before the ED IO in Mumbai in connection with the Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case which the central probe agency is investigating under PMLA.
Mallya was summoned to be present in Mumbai by the ED on 18 March, 2 April and 9 April, but, on three dates, he expressed his inability that to depose personally citing the ongoing legal proceedings going in the Supreme Court over settlement of loans.
However, it is understood, that he has suggested his legal team can help ED in taking the probe forward.
“He is the main person in the case. His joining the investigations personally is very essential,” they said.