Vijay Mallya arrested in London by Scotland Yard, to appear before court

By Rob 0

London: Businessman Vijay Mallya was arrested by Scotland Yard on Tuesday morning in London. Mallya will be produced at the Westminster Magistrate’s Court in connection with his extradition to India in the ongoing money-laundering case against him.

Mallya had fled to London in March 2016 after his Kingfisher Airlines defaulted on loans worth more than Rs9,000 crore.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been investigating a case against Mallya and the companies he controlled over allegations of money laundering since early last year and had secured a non-bailable warrant against the absconding businessman in a case related to money laundering and wilful default of loans, Mint reported on 22 November.

While CBI clarified that the arrest was in connection with his extradition, it declined from commenting further on the matter, till it was heard at the London Court.

The Ministry of External Affairs had stated that India’s request for Mallya’s extradition had recently been certified by the UK, after the country’s home department on 21 February conveyed India’s request for Mallya’s extradition to the Westminster Magistrate’s Court after being certified by the UK secretary of state.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley raised the issue with his UK counterpart Philip Hammond and UK prime Minister Theresa May during his February visit. An extradition hearing will now follow.

In September 2016, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued the order, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), to attach the various properties including flats, a farmhouse, shares and fixed deposits in Mallya’s name and his associate firms. The agency had earlier said that the market value of these assets was Rs 6,630 crore.

On 23 January, CBI’s central and Bengaluru division raided the premises of the Vijay Mallya-run UB Group in Bengaluru in connection with a Rs900-crore loan default and money laundering case. On the same day, the CBI arrested nine officials of Kingfisher Airlines and IDBI Bank Ltd, including the bank’s former chief.

Mallya has not responded to summons from several Indian courts. He said last year that he fears he will not get a fair trial in India.

First Published: Tue, Apr 18 2017. 03 54 PM IST