‘Mallya, Nirav Modi among 36 businessmen fleeing the country in recent past’ ED tells court

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a special judge in New Delhi that 36 businessmen, including Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, have fled from the country in the recent past.

While opposing the bail plea of Sushen Mohan Gupta, alleged defence agent arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP choppers scam, the ED said there was a likelihood of him fleeing the country like 36 businessmen who had criminal cases against them.

The probe agency told special judge Arvind Kumar that 36 businessmen, including Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, have fled from the country in the recent past.

ED’s special public prosecutors DP Singh and NK Matta countered Sushen’s claim that he had deep roots in the society, saying, “Mallya, Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Sandesara brothers (Sterling Biotech Ltd promoters) had deeper routes in the society yet they left the country. There are such 36 businessmen who fled from the country in the last few years.”

During the argument, ED’s advocate Samvedna Verma told the court that the probe was at a crucial stage and the agency was trying to find out who was “RG” referred in the diaries of Sushen.

Verma also accused Gupta of influencing the witnesses in the case and told the court that he also tried to destroy the evidence in the case.

The court reserved order on Gupta’s bail application for April 20.

Gupta has sought the relief on the ground that the agency has already completed the investigation and filed a charge sheet in the case.

In his bail application, the accused told the court that the ED’s contention of the flight risk can be rejected considering his past activities, where he joined the investigation as and when summoned.

Gupta was arrested by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED officials said Gupta’s role in the case came to light on the basis of disclosures made by Rajiv Saxena, who has turned approver in the case after he was deported from the UAE and arrested by the agency here.