Did Vijay Mallya use the loan money to buy a racehorse worth Rs 9 crore?

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NEW DELHI: Investigators are investigating whether Vijay Mallya used some of the money loaned to his Kingfisher Airlines, now on the ground, by IDBI Bank to purchase a racehorse that cost Rs 9 crore, officials said responsible for the case. They are now considering confiscating the stallion, Air Support, which Mallya imported from the United States in 2014 and kept at his Kunigal stud farm near Bengaluru, a senior law enforcement official said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement is investigating allegations that Mallya embezzled part of the Rs 900 crore loan taken out from IDBI bank. The businessman and Kingfisher Airlines deny the allegations.

The CBI spokesperson did not respond to ET’s request. An email sent to Mallya went unanswered. ET officials said they stumbled upon the discovery quite by accident. There was an insignificant entry into CBI’s FIR against Mallya: Rs 9,07,85,262 under “Payments made to” for the purchase of “Climber Air Support”.

The CBI didn’t pay much attention to it, believing it could be an aircraft component. However, when the Enforcement Branch reviewed the documents, they suspected it was the horse.

According to ED officials, the stallion was purchased from a leading horse breeder in the United States. When Mallya bought the horse for his United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders, he had already won five major races in the United States.


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