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Vijay Mallya Arrested In UK In Money Laundering Case

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested in London on Tuesday on charges of alleged money laundering brought by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), for the second time this year.

He is currently out on bail in connection with an extradition warrant executed by the Metropolitan Police earlier this year.

The 61-year-old tycoon, who has been staying in the UK for over a year now, is accused of defaulting on loans worth thousands of crores in India. He slipped out of the country in March last year, amid attempts by a group of banks to recover more than Rs.9,000 crore loaned to him for his now-collapsed Kingfisher Airlines. He has been produced in court for bail proceedings, authorities in UK said.

He is contesting the extradition proceedings brought by India so that he can brought back to face charges of alleged financial wrongdoing.

India made an extradition request in February to Britain to send back the businessman to face trial. Indian agencies followed up the request with a 2,000-page dossier as evidence against Mr Mallya.

The sources said the new charges are an extension of earlier charges against the embattled 61-year-old liquor baron. Mallya, who has been freed on bail until December, will likely continue on the same bail after appearing in court after his arrest.

Last month, the fugitive submitted his response to India’s request in a large box which had four reports. The extradition case will be taken up in December.

Mr Mallya is in Britain on an “indefinite leave to remain” visa or on permanent residence after India cancelled his passport.

The businessman faces at least half a dozen arrest warrants back in India.

Known for his lavish lifestyle, Vijay Mallya has repeatedly defied summons by courts and investigators in India but has been a regular at public events in Britain, especially to root for the Formula One team that he owns.

He has used Twitter to dismiss the charges against him and target the media and politicians.

The case is being probed by the ED and the central agency has already filed a charge-sheet against Mallya and others in a Mumbai court. The CPS is arguing the case against Mallya on behalf of the Indian government.

Mr Mallya was earlier this year sacked from the board of United Breweries, the firm which was at the core of his business empire. He made Kingfisher beer a global brand and ran an airline of the same name.

In January, the Debt Recovery Tribunal ordered the banks to start the process of recovering the loans he owns by seizing his properties.

 

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