India may soon receive details of Mallya’s Swiss bank accounts

India may soon receive details of Mallya’s Swiss bank accounts

Courtesy : Agencies01/02/2019 07:44

 India may soon receive details of the money businessman Vijay Mallya has allegedly stashed away in Swiss bank accounts, with moves to this effect already being initiated by the authorities of the two countries after the apex court of Switzerland approved the sharing of information.

The Federal Court has rejected Mallya’s appeal, Geneva and New Delhi-based officials, with direct knowledge of the matter, said on condition of anonymity.

Mallya challenged the August 14, 2018 decision of the Public Prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva to transmit documents relating to three bank accounts held by him in Swiss banks to Indian authorities.

In an email reply, the prosecutor’s office of Geneva confirmed that the request of the Indian authorities had been accepted.

According to the Swiss Federal Court, the office of the prosecutor paved way for scrutiny of three Swiss bank accounts of Mallya by Indian investigative agencies.

 The request for details of Mallya’s Swiss bank accounts was made by the federal investigative agency of India, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). An email query sent to CBI on January 23 did not elicit any response.

The accounts are held at Edmond de Rothschild (Switzerland) SA and Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique (CBH) in the names of Mallya and his companies, Drayton Resources, Black Forest Holdings and Harrison Finance, CBI officials said on condition of anonymity.

CBI gained access to the documents related to Mallya’s Swiss bank accounts after an order of the Federal Court on November 26 observed that the nature of the request was limited to the documentation relating to three bank accounts.

 Swiss authorities rejected the appellant’s arguments that the proceedings in India were seriously flawed because the investigator, CBI, was itself charged with corruption, a Swiss official added.

The court also rejected Mallya’s human rights claims on the ground that people who are not in the territory of a requesting state are not entitled to invoke defects in foreign proceedings if they are not themselves exposed to a specific danger and serious, degrading treatment, the Swiss official said.

The Swiss court, however, observed that the matter of extradition of Mallya, who has been living in London since March 2016, would be up to the British authorities to decide if the condition of dual criminality was satisfied, and whether obtaining a loan on the basis of false information such as the financial situation of a borrowing company, could constitute a scam.

 On December 10, 2018, the Westminster magistrates court of the UK ordered Mallya’s extradition, by upholding India’s charges of money-laundering and fraud. CBI filed a suit against Mallya for fraud and money laundering in relation to more than Rs 9,000 crore that was lent to his firms by several Indian banks.

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