Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya has rejected investigators' allegations that $64 million loaned to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines was redirected into the purchase of foreign assets abroad, before the carrier's collapse.
Officials from India's financial crimes unit urged judges to issue a warrant for Mr Mallya's arrest during a special court hearing on Saturday, where they accused the once high-flying businessman of improperly using half of a 2009 loan granted by India's state-owned IDBI Bank to the airline.
A spokesperson for Mr Mallya last night "strenuously denied" the charges by India's Enforcement Directorate, which alleged he had used the funds to purchase properties abroad.
"We are shocked at the allegation," Sumanto Bhattacharya, a spokesman for Mr Mallya's private holding company, the UB Group, said. "The audited accounts of Kingfisher Airlines . . . show all foreign exchange transactions, which includes funds borrowed from IDBI Bank used for legitimate business purposes only."