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Mallya, CMD holiday meet led to hasty sanction of Rs.350 crore loan

PTI | New Delhi |

Two initial tranches of loan worth Rs.350 crore were hastily disbursed by IDBI bank to Kingfisher Airlines after a "holiday" meeting between liquor baron Vijay Mallya and the then bank CMD as both organisations "criminally conspired" to clear the entire deal despite weak financials of the airline, the ED has said.

The total loan sanctioned and disbursed by IDBI was Rs.860.92 crore.

The agency, probing the case for money laundering charges, has said its investigation found that the processes deployed to structure and re-structure the loan by the bank to the now-defunct airline was planned to be defrauded and that Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) had "no intent" to repay it.

"PMLA investigation indicates that the marketable value and quality of the collateral security offered by Ms KAL (KFA) and its promoters was not assessed. There is a complete lack of due diligence on the part of the bank coupled with the fact that undue haste was shown while disbursing the initial two tranches of loan amounting to Rs.350 crore.

"It is apparent that the said loans were disbursed post meeting of Mallya with the then CMD (Yogesh Aggarwal) of the bank on a holiday. It does not need an eagles' eye to decipher the cause of immediate disbursement of the loan amount of Rs.150 crore on October 7, 2009 and Rs.200 crore on November 4, 2009," the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe report said.

The CBI recently arrested Aggarwal and eight others in this case.

The report added this specific transaction, where "substantial amounts" were sanctioned to KFA, in an ad-hoc basis and without due diligence points to the "existence of a deep rooted criminal conspiracy between the bank officials and the promoters of KAL (KFA)".

The agency, in its report, has appended the statement of the Aggarwal given to ED on March 23 last year wherein he told the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case that in October 2009, Mallya made a telephonic call to his office and requested for an "urgent meeting the very next day".

"As the next day was a holiday, it was pointed out to him… and he could meet at a later day. However, he (Mallya) informed that he was leaving Mumbai next day evening and as the matter was urgent, he would be grateful if he could meet the next day despite it being a holiday to which he (Aggarwal) agreed," the ex-CMD said, adding Mallya did meet him the next day along with a former MD and current advisor of the bank and an Executive Director of IDBI.

"Mallya informed that Ms KAL (KFA) was in a severe crunch and needed funds urgently to keep flying," Aggarwal said in his statement.