Mallya arrested in London, gets bail

Vijay Mallya

Delhi, 18 April: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in India for defaulting on over Rs 8,000 crore in bank loans, was arrested here on Tuesday. Within hours, a court granted him bail.

Metropolitan Police said Mallya, 61, was taken into custody after attending a central London police station.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court later gave him bail on a 650,000 pound bond. The next hearing of the case will be on May 17.

A Metropolitan Police statement said officers from the Extradition Unit arrested Mallya on an extradition warrant from India.

“Mallya was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud,” the statement said.

After getting bail, Mallya tweeted: “Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in court started today as expected.”

Mallya fled to Britain in March 2016 after being pursued in courts by Indian banks seeking to recover Rs 8,191 crore owed by his now defunct Kingfisher Airline.

The banks had been able to recover only Rs 155 crore. Despite multiple injunctions, Mallya failed to appear before investigators — and then flew out of India.

In February, the Indian government handed over to the UK authorities a formal request for Mallya’s extradition, saying it had a legitimate case against him on charges of financial irregularities and loan default.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that government should stop misleading the people of India.

India had asked the UK to extradite Mallya, who is facing charges of money laundering and several arrest warrants.

The Indian government however assured media that he will be brought back to India.

The liquor baron fled from India last year while a group of banks were working together to recover the unpaid loans.

New Delhi had cancelled Mallya’s passport and asked the UK government to sent him back to India. But the foreign ministry was told that India’s deportation request was not covered under UK laws that allowed visitors to stay back even if their passport wasn’t valid any longer.

Mallya, who had launched the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines that owes over 9,000 crores to various banks, has been accused of cheating and conspiracy by the CBI that filed a 1,000-page chargesheet against him for defaulting on a 900-crore loan taken from the IDBI bank in 2009. The CBI probe found that 250 crore of this – given to buy aircraft parts – was diverted abroad.

Read More: Mallya’s iconic Kingfisher villa in Goa may be renamed

Wefornews Bureau

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