Force India Formula One owner arrested in UK

Vijay Mallya, liquor baron and owner of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, was arrested by Scotland Yard in London on Tuesday evening on an extradition warrant.

Scotland Yard on Tuesday arrested Vijay Mallya and produced him in a Wensminster court acting upon the CBI’s extradition request.

Vijay Mallya will be brought back to India, due process of law will be followed”, he said.

He was presented in Westminster Magistrates Court, which released him on bail. 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”. Indian investigators said previous year Mallya had not been co-operating and had ignored their summons to give evidence three times.

Mallya, 61, secretly fled India in March a year ago, owing more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds. Mallya had fled from India on March 2, 2016. As a former Home Secretary, May is aware about the case and her stand on fraud and money laundering is likely to create hurdles for Mallya’s stay in London without facing charges.

Diageo agreed to pay Mallya a US$75 million severance package in order to “bring to an end the uncertainty relating to the governance of USL”.

The statement further said: “He was arrested after attending a central London police station, and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later today, 18 April”. However, officials said that the bail is not something to be seen as a relief to Mallya.

Mallya’s passport has already been cancelled by the Indian government.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi urged the court to direct him to bring back the United States dollars 40 million which he had received from Diageo. He also has a stake in India’s only Formula One auto racing team, Force India. While some of the lawyers did request the news anchors to curb their exuberance as Mallya was likely to get bail, speculation had already begun on his extradition to India.

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