New Delhi: The central government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cracked the whip on fugitive and economic offenders in all its earnestness.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a tweet, said, "we will actively pursue Fugitives and economic offenders; their properties attached and dues recovered."
She also said public sector banks (PSBs) have already recovered Rs 1357 crore by selling such shares.
Banks shall realize Rs 9041.5 crore through the sale of such attached assets.
Economic offenders Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi have defrauded Public Sector Banks by siphoning off the funds through their companies. It resulted in a total loss of Rs.22,585.83 crore to the banks, Enforcement Directorate said in a statement.
It said the Directorate of Enforcement has taken "swift action by unearthing myriad web of domestic and international transactions" and stashing of assets abroad.
The investigation has also irrevocably proved that these three accused persons used "dummy entities controlled by them" for rotation and siphoning off the funds provided by the banks.
"The ED has also taken immediate steps to attach/seize assets worth Rs. 18,170.02 crore, which included assets worth Rs. 969 crore in foreign countries. The quantum of the attached and seized assets represents 80.45 percent of the total bank loss of Rs. 22,585.83 crore."
The investigation by the ED has proved that a substantial part of these assets were held in the names of dummy entities, trusts, third persons, and relatives of these accused, and these entities were "proxy" of these accused to hold these assets.
In a tweet, the ED further said, not only assets worth Rs. 18,170.02 crore (80.45% of a total loss to banks) in the case of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi were attached and seized under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) but also transferred a part of the attached and seized assets of Rs. 9371.17 Crore to the PSBs and the Central Government.
There is a legal battle going on for the extradition of diamond merchant Mehul Choksi from Dominica.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi has said recently that 'extradition' of economic offenders was also discussed in the India-UK Virtual Summit on May 4 wherein the UK side informed that there were"some legal hurdles because of the criminal justice system in the UK."
"But they are aware of the issue, and they would do whatever possible to make sure that these people are extradited at the earliest."
The erstwhile UPA government gave loans to the tune of Rs 8,040 crores to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, but the Modi government took actions against him up only.
Till December 31, 2016, 9,130 willful defaulters in the country had taken loans amounting to Rs 91,155 crore from various PSU banks, the government sources have said earlier.
The UK government on April 17 approved the extradition of the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are wanted in connection with the Rs 13,578-crore fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB).
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