The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), in its latest investigation had revealed that liquor baron Vijay Mallya used outside pressure and intervention for the sanction and disbursement of the corporate loan of Rs 2,000 crore to the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, according to a report by The Indian Express. This report mentioned that SFIO had accessed emails, seized from computers obtained by CBI — which show that Ministry of Finance officials advised banks like State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India to sanction loans to Kingfisher Airlines.
The 157-page report, according to The Indian Express, submitted to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs on August 27, said that liquor baron Vijay Mallya met with a former SBI senior official in 2009 as per the advice of a senior Finance Ministry official, who assured disbursement of a loan of Rs 500 crore from the lender. It stated that freebies to politicians, officials and bureaucrats were used to buying influence and co-opting of independent directors using incentives and contracts.
Here are some key findings of the report, as per IE:
– Vijay Mallya entertained officials from various ministries including the MOF (Finance Ministry) for travel outside the country “by issuance of first-class/ business-class tickets free of cost.” He allegedly agreed to the request of officials closely related to the operations of Kingfisher to discount ticket prices by 50%.
– Mallya too information on or data on a number of passengers, market share etc. from officials of DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation). He allegedly used this information to capture and dent the market share of competitors.
– “Independent directors, who were also part of the audit committee of the board, did not question the rationale behind the various accounting policy and methodology changes made by Kingfisher in its financials from the year 2008-09 onwards,” the report said.