If one thought that beleaguered Vijay Mallya had run out of funds then one is hugely mistaken. In fact, his business has been thriving. An investigation carried out by Enforcement Directorate (ED) reveals that proxy firms linked to the fugitive had a turnover of over Rs 220 crore. It is Mallya’s close aides like V Shashikant who have been running the business on his behalf.
The ED has carried out search and seizure operation on the residential and business premises of an alleged close associate V Shashikant in Bengaluru, sources said. Shashikant was also questioned in Mumbai on Monday. V Shashikant was an employee of Vijay Mallya group till February 2017 and was executive assistant to him for nine years. V Shashikant was also managing director of United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL).
Republic TV has accessed email conversation between Mallya’s London assistant Daljit Mahal and Shashikant. Whatsapp conversation between Mallya and Shashikant, accessed by Republic TV, also indicates that the two proxies were running the business on Mallya’s behalf.
A copy of the Whatsapp conversation between V Shashikant and Mallya.
Copy of the email correspondence between Daljit Mahal and V Shashikant
The ED investigation reveals that a mirror company was incorporated by Shashikant, United Branding Worldwide. Shashikant’s daughter was running the Dubai based company. Money was flowing between these two companies. The ED also suspects that money was being laundered through these companies by under-invoicing exports. The ED has also found some other dummy companies in Singapore. Since the investigation is underway, the agency is not revealing the name of the dummy company.
The investigation by the financial probe agency has revealed that UBHL was holding 10.72% shares of United Breweries Ltd (UBL) and was exporting Kingfisher Brand Beer (manufactured by UBL) and shoes manufactured by United Breweries International Trading Limited. The shares of UBL held by UBHL have already been attached by ED and later on UBHL was liquidated.
After Vijay Mallya fled from the country and UBHL was liquidated, his old associate V Shashikant, incorporated a firm, namely United Branding Worldwide in Bengaluru in which his wife Jayanti Shashikanth and daughter Archita are the partners. “It has been detected that this partnership firm has taken over the business of UBHL for exporting both kingfisher beer and shoes and export turnover is approximately rupees to 220 crore per annum. One interesting fact has also come to the notice that 60% of export by UBG has made to M/s Tammy International Dubai which in turn exporting beer to other countries. Shashikant’s daughter is majority shareholder Tammy International, Dubai,” said an officer of ED.
The agency during its operation against Mallya in Banglore has seized various incriminating documents, emails and WhatsApp messages which indicate that V Shashikant was is in regular touch with Vijay Mallya. During the searches, various information regarding some of the dummy companies of Vijay Mallya namely Gold Reef Investments Ltd and McDowell Holdings Ltd was also received.
The agency has found that these are investment companies which are holding shares and supporting 20 to 25 employs of UB Group loyal, to Vijay Mallya. The Directorate has also frozen shares of Rs 3 crore held by McDowell Holdings Limited.