Indebted tycoon Vijay Mallya on Sunday accused Indian government agencies of deeming him “guilty without trial” and lambasted the country’s financial crime fighters for leading a “heavily biased” investigation against him.
The flamboyant 60-year-old beer baron left India in March for the UK, under hot pursuit from banks over $1.34 billion (nearly Rs 8914.7 crore) in loans granted to his collapsed carrier Kingfisher Airlines and yet to be repaid.
He has repeatedly failed to appear before investigators at the Enforcement Directorate, the government’s agency that investigates financial frauds, that suspects Mallya misused the funds loaned by the IDBI Bank.
In a rare statement, Mallya responded to reports that India’s federal investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, was taking further steps to probe him and the airline.
“It is, indeed, sad and disappointing that the thousands of documents submitted by us and interrogation of several executives seems insufficient to convince them there has been no wrongdoing,” he said.
“I have maintained and continue to maintain that there has been absolutely no misappropriation or diversion of funds and strenuously deny any allegation to the contrary.”
Mallya rejected reports he had refused to go before the Enforcement Directorate, which has issued three summons for his appearance, but said he had simply sought time to sell assets to pay employees, tax authorities and the banks.