ED, CBI in knots to investigate Vijay Mallya’s 77 overseas companies for money trail

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing Vijay Mallya for alleged bank fraud, is staring at a Herculean task. The probe agency, currently trying to establish money trail involving the liquor barons companies, is now looking at a list of 77 overseas companies owned by Mallya that are spread across several countries.

While probing the 77 companies in itself is quite a task, the agency’s worst fears might likely be realised when it finds itself at loggerheads with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is also probing Mallya for allegedly wilfully defaulting on bank loans.

Out of the 77 companies that are owned by Mallya, 40 are under the ED lens as of now. This is where it can get tricky for the CBI to chase or trace the alleged flow of money from India to overseas companies owned Mallya. With Both ED and CBI not working in tandem on Mallya’s case, the agencies might find it difficult to paint a crystal clear picture of flow of money. Moreover, the fact that some of these companies have been dissolved over the years might further complicate the investigation. Among the countries which serve as hosts to Mallya’s companies and subsidiaries of his United Breweries Group are South Africa, China, Ireland, Netherlands, Nepal , Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Among some of the companies are UK-based RG Shaw and Co Ltd, Palmer Investment Group, a British Virgin Island based subsidiary of United Spirits, Singapore’s JIHL Nominees limited, Asian Opportunities Investments Limited in Mauritius, Isle of Jura Distillery Company limited and Wauchope Moodie and Company Limited in Scotland.

The other companies mentioned in the list are Asian Opportunities and Investment Ltd, Liquidity Inc, Glayva Liqueur Ltd, Invergordon Distillers Ltd Group, Bruce and Company (Leith) Ltd, Macdowell and Co Ltd, United Alcobev Limited, Bouvet Ladubay SAS, Chaplin Landia SAS, Whitey and Mackay Group Ltd, Findlader Scotch and Whiskey Ltd, Charles Mackenley Ltd, Pentland Bonding Company Ltd, Jarvis Halliday and Co, W&S Strong, KI Trustees Limited and so on.

Mallya had recently said that the banks, whose loans have been allegedly defaulted by his companies, won’t get their money if they arrest him. In the face of a long list of his overseas companies, Mallya’s web of companies across the world shows how lengthy will the process be to nail the business tycoon Mallya. It seems chasing Mallya’s money might tie both the CBI and the ED in knots.