Vijay Mallya’s confiscated jet gets a bidder; Florida-based Aviation Management Sales buys it for meagre ₹34.8 crore

The transaction was completed last Friday through an e-auction following a Karnataka High Court order

Vijay Mallya’s confiscated jet gets a bidder; Florida-based Aviation Management Sales buys it for meagre ₹34.8 crore

Finally, the service tax authorities have managed to get a buyer on board for liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s confiscated luxury jet with Florida-based Aviation Management Sales, that has emerged as the highest bidder for ₹34.8 crore (USD 5.05 million) last Friday.

The service tax authorities had put the luxury A319 jet, which Mallya used to crisscross the world to solicit business deals, under the hammer to recover their dues to the tune of ₹800 crore accumulated on account of non-payment of service tax before his erstwhile Kingfisher AirlinesNSE -11.11 per cent went belly-up in October 2012.

Also Read: A Fugitive Cannot Dictate Terms: ED Refuses Mallya’s Offer

Last Friday, the transaction was completed through an e-auction, following a Karnataka High Court order. The source said that the jet has been parked at a hangar at Mumbai airport since its confiscation in 2013. The deal will go through after Bombay High Court's approval.

"Mallya's private luxury jet has finally found a buyer at an e-auction conducted by the state-run auctioneer MSTC last Friday. The Florida-, US-based firm Aviation Management Sales LLC quoted the highest bid of ₹34.8 crore and won the bid," the source told PTI.

Also Read: Vijay Mallya Writes Letter To PM; Wishes To Settle The Dues

In the first auction in March 2016 as part of their attempt to recover money from the beleaguered businessman Mallya, who is facing extradition from London now, a lone-bidder turned up and quoted a meagre ₹1.09 crore, against the reserve price of ₹152 crore. The department rejected the bid and then lowered the reserve price by 10 per cent.

The plane was attached by the service tax department in December 2013, claiming tax dues over ₹800 crore from Kingfisher Airlines. After Mumbai airport operator MIAL moved to the HC seeking a direction to the department citing heavy losses on account of the non-productive use of its space, the service tax department was forced to sell the aircraft.

Also Read: Mallya’s Seized Aircraft At Mumbai Airport Causes A Loss Of ₹15,000 Per Hour

The auction, in the past, had failed as the bids were much below the reserve price, which was cut to USD 12.5 million from USD 22 million initially.

In March 2017, the MSTC conducted the last bidding. This January, the HC had directed the official liquidator of the Karnataka High Court, who has been in charge of the assets and books of Kingfisher Airlines, to take required steps to take away the plane as it is been occupying space at the highly congested Mumbai airport all these while.

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