New Delhi, Sep 15: The Parliament was informed that at least 38 economic offenders fled the country between January 1 2015 and December 31 2019.
The government informed the Parliament that the offenders included Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. The information was provided by minister of state for finance, Anurag Thakur in response to a query on whether the centre had any data on businessmen including those who migrated to other countries after fraudulently obtaining loans during the past 5 years.
"Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has apprised that 38 persons involved in the cases registered by CBI related to financial irregularities with banks fled the country during 1.1.2015 to 31.12.2019," Thakur said. In a written reply, he also said that action is taken as per law in such cases.
He said tight the Enforcement Directorate had earlier appraised that under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, application for Red Corner notices were filed against 20 economic offenders. Further extradition requests were sent out in 14 cases to several countries.
Between January 2019 and December 2019, 11 economic offenders fled the country while 27 have managed to slip out till January 2019. These 27 individuals face charges of economic offences and loan default the government data said.
He further said that a slew of policy measures have now been taken to prevent businessmen and individuals from fraudulently obtaining loans and fleeing the country.
Under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, banks have been directed to make submission of a certified copy of the passport of the promoters/directors of the companies. It is mandatory for those availing over Rs 50 crore worth of loan, he also said.
"Wilful defaulters have been acted against comprehensively. As per data reported by nationalised banks till 31.3.2019, suits for recovery have been filed in 8,121 cases. In cases involving secured assets, action under the provisions of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 has been initiated in 6,251 cases," the minister said.
Further the Parliament was also informed that between 2014 and 2019, Rs 7,654 crore has been recovered by the nationalised banks from wilful defaulters. FIRs have been registered in 2,915 cases against wilful defaulters in accordance with the instructions by the Reserve Bank of India. Tough measures have been taken by the Securities and Exchange Board of India like the Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers (Second Amendment) Regulations 2016 that bar companies with wilful defaulters as promoters/directors from accessing capital markets to raise funds.