Congress criticises Centre for not inquiring Mallya's transactions

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Bengaluru, May 2: Congress on Sunday made a scathing attack on the Centre "for not inquiring" various transactions of money paid to Vijay Mallya by Diageo Plc, including the USD 40 million Sweetheart deal.  

"Why is the Modi government not enquiring into the transactions between Diageo Plc and Mallya, wherein he received USD 40 million in a foreign offshore account in lieu of stake sale in India," Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters here.

Vijay Mallya

Giving accounts of alleged Mallya-Diageo Plc money transactions, Surjewala alleged that besides giving USD 40 million, another USD 58 million dollar was paid by Diageo Plc to Mallya in lieu of sale of South African Breweries.

"We have also been given to understand that Diageo Plc has paid another sum of USD 141 million to Standard Chartered Bank on account of a default made by UB group company - Watson Limited, an amount that should have been rightfully paid by Sri Vijay Mallya," he said.

Surjewala alleged that Diageo Plc paid another USD 42 million for a previous guarantee given to the Standard Chartered Bank on a loan taken by UB Overseas Limited.

"All these money transactions were take place under the very nose of Modi government and Diagepo Plc acquires the stake of Mallya company in India, but Government of India keeps completely mum," he said.

Surjewala said these are some important issues that the Centre must answer. Surjewala said "the government could have detained him when he was summoned by CBI for questioning after India's premier investigation agency had registered a case in the matter on July 29."

He also blamed the banks for being "hand-in-glove" to allow Mallya to leave the country by moving the Debt Recovery Tribunal in Bengaluru on February 29 instead of the day before, in which case the tribunal could have intervened to impound the liquor baron's passport and eventually his arrest, he said.

"The Modi government should take action against CBI and bank officials as also Enforcement Directorate officials for their inaction, and creating a situation which became easy for Mallya to leave the country," he said.

PTI

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