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Law starts catching up: Vijay Mallya held in London by Scotland Yard, gets bail

Police say held on behalf of Indian authorities; CBI sending team to UK

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi | Updated: April 19, 2017 7:11 am
vijay mallya, mallya, vijay mallya arrest, vijay mallya case, vijay mallya loan default, vijay mallya kingfisher case, vijay mallya london, india news, latest news, indian express news Vijay Mallya leaves Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London after getting bail on Tuesday. (Source: PTI Photo)

Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested in London Tuesday by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant following a request from authorities in India where he faces charges of fraud. He was granted bail after he appeared at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The 61-year-old, who left India in March 2016, later tweeted: “Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected.”

The CBI, which is investigating the ‘wilful default’ of a Rs 900-crore IDBI loan on part of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) promoted by Mallya, had sent an extradition request to the UK through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing a case of money laundering in the same matter, had got Mallya declared a proclaimed offender and sent a request for his arrest through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty route.

Sources in the agencies said a CBI team would soon leave for London to help the Crown Prosecution in court to extradite Mallya. “The team will carry relevant documents and evidence as desired by the prosecution there. The case will be fought by them. We will provide assistance. We are confident of bringing Mallya back. We have a strong case,” a CBI officer said.

ED sources said the agency had almost completed its investigation into the money laundering aspect of the case and would soon file a prosecution complaint. “Whatever assistance, evidence and documents are required in the case, will be provided by us,” a senior ED officer said. Sources in Home Ministry said the Internal Security (II) division had begun work on formalities involved in extradition proceedings.

The KFA defaulted on an estimated Rs 9,000 crore in loans taken from a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India. But only IDBI Bank lodged a complaint with the CBI. The ED case, however, concerns the entire default amount of Rs 9,000 crore. Government sources described Mallya’s arrest as the first major step in bringing Mallya back.

Extradition, however, is a long drawn process and will require India to produce robust evidence to convince the UK court that Mallya needs to be extradited. Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said, “We are now assessing how we can bring him back to the country and start judicial proceedings against him.” The government, he said, will leave no stone unturned to bring to justice anyone indulging in financial irregularities.

In January, a court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans. The ED has already attached over Rs 9,000 crore of Mallya’s assets. His Kingfisher Villa in Goa was auctioned recently — it was bought by businessman Sachiin Joshi. India had given a formal extradition request for Mallya as per the Extradition Treaty between India and the UK through a note verbale on February 8. While handing over the request, India had asserted that it has a “legitimate” case against Mallya and maintained that if an extradition request is honoured, it would show British “sensitivity towards our concerns”.

In January, a CBI court issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in the IDBI Bank loan default case after the agency filed a chargesheet and arrested nine persons including former IDBI Bank chairman, Yogesh Agarwal, his then colleagues and top officials of KFA. In its chargesheet, the CBI alleged that of the over Rs 900 crore loan granted to Kingfisher Airlines, Rs 262 crore was diverted by the company for personal use.

In its attachment order of Mallya’s properties, the ED had alleged that he had spirited abroad Rs 423 crore of loan money. Claiming that KFA had no intent to repay the loan ab initio, ED said “huge funds (Rs 423 crore) out of these loans were remitted outside India on the pretext of aircraft lease rentals etc but no supporting documents furnished so far to substantiate their bona fide. Therefore, not only the said loan was obtained in questionable manner, but part of the loan has been siphoned off abroad in a calculated and pre-designed manner.”

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  1. K
    kamath Ramesh
    Apr 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm
    Where are congress leaders especially rahul who did not miss a single opportunity to attack bjp for allowing mallya to flee. The loan was given by congress & was allowed to roam free for 5 years during congress rule without any effort to recover the money. It is bjp govt which started taking action & recover the money. It is the best govt we have ever had
    1. D
      Apr 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm
      Vijay Mallya cannot be brought back. Now that he has been subjected to the UK legal system through an official arrest and subsequent bail out, he now has the option of arguing his case within the UK legal jurisdiction. It is all a game. A big bloody game. This incompetent govt is hoodwinking the people of the country. Thisgovt has a lot of skeletons to hide and resorts to some po r name and flashes a news item. Vijay Mallya will come to India, when he chooses to, not when this govt. decides. And what has happened to the blue e boy of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah & Sushma Swaraj ? Yes, where is Lalit Modi ? He too is in the UK and dares this govt openly to come and take him. But this govt.does not have the ballz to do so. Why ? Ask the very 'honest and incorruptible' PM this question and watch him squirming on his seat with sweat beads rolling down from his forehead. How can he dare to arrest his close friend? What a joke this govt is. Yes, mark my words, ths govt cannot bring VM back
      1. Ram Patil
        Apr 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm
        Vijay Mallya is really a ' Great Person ' not because he is an MP in Rajya Sabha but he has ' Way and Means ' to hoodwink the law of the land. Perhaps when he comes back to India, he may contest election for the President as well.
        1. S
          Apr 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm
          Just an eye wash by British Goverment. Got bail within a couple of hours.
          1. V
            Apr 19, 2017 at 9:21 am
            the indian po tion pray that the relevant papers and the evidence carried by the CBI team for the perusal of the Judge in London will remain complete,relevant and valid when they get there. Let us hope, our gods will not allow the box carrying the papers will not spring a leak on the way and the sleuths will double check the contents and the box will be locked with only one key.We do not want a a replay of the botch up ,real or contrived, by the best of our CBI, like the one they pla in front of the Danish judge in Purana arms dropping case. You can't be more careful nowadays.Many of his friends and partners in crime will give an arm and a leg to get the extradition scuttled. A lot riding on it for them as well.
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