Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested in London over a money laundering case for the second time since fleeing India. The owner of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines was immediately released on bail.
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested in London today in relation to the ongoing proceedings against him in the money laundering case being pursued by India, the United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution Service confirmed.
Mallya was immediately granted bail, under UK procedure. This was Mallya’s second arrest in the UK since he fled India. Mallya was earlier arrested in April this year and was immediately released on bail then as well.
Mallya fled to Britain in March 2016 after being pursued for recovery of Rs 9,091 crore owed to a consortium of 17 Indian banks by his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. He was arrested and granted bail in London on April 18 by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant.
Indian authorities have filed two separate charge-sheets in the UK over Mallya’s alleged money laundering – one by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the other by the Enforcement Directorate. Mallya’s April arrest was in connection with the CBI charge-sheet while today’s arrest was in connection with the ED’s application.
The Indian government had in February this year, handed over to British authorities a formal request for Mallya’s extradition, saying it had a legitimate case against him on charges of financial irregularities and loan default.
More charges are expected to be added at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.
Mallya owes Indian banks Rs 6,963 crore (Rs Rs 9,091 crore with interest) and is wanted in India for cases relating to foreign exchange violation, debt recovery and embezzlement.
He fled India in March last year and was officially declared an absconder by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in November last year.
The 61-year-old Mallya, known for leading a flamboyant lifestyle, has been fighting an extradition case in the UK.
In April this year, London’s Scotland Yard, acting upon India’s request, formally arrested Mallya on an extraction warrant. He was taken to a local court, which granted him bail.
India has been pushing for Mallya’s extradition, with even the Prime Minister’s Office getting involved.
In November last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally explained to visiting British PM Theresa May why it was important that Mallya be returned to India.
The prime minister once again broached the topic, though without expressly naming Vijay Mallya, with Theresa May in July this year on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Germany.
MALLYA CASE: TIMELINE
August, 2014: CBI starts preliminary enquiry into the Rs 800 crore bad loan given by IDBI Bank to Kingfisher Airlines ignoring company’s negative credit ratings.
July, 2015: IDBI Bank lodges complaint against Mallya accusing him of cheating and conspiracy to misuse bank’s funds in connivance with public servants.
October, 2015: CBI conducts raids at Mallya’s office.
December, 2015: CBI questions Mallya.
February, 2016: SBI-led consortium of banks moves debt recovery tribunal to attach Mallya’s passport.
March, 2016: Mallya flees India.
June, 2016: CBI forms SIT to investigate case; Rakesh Asthana appointed to lead the team
June, 2016: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) attaches Mallya’s assets worth Rs 1,411 crore
July, 2016: SBI lodges an FIR against Mallya following pressure from the SIT.
August, 2016: The bank consortium urges the Supreme Court to act against Vijay Mallya for failing to turn up in court despite a contempt notice issued against him.
September, 2016: The ED attaches Rs 6,630 crore worth of properties belonging to Mallya.
November, 2016: Special PMLA court declares Mallya an absconder.
November 2016: PM Narendra Modi meets PM Theresa May in India, explains importance of getting Mallya back.
April 2017: Mallya formally arrested in England by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant.
October 2017: Mallya arrested once again in the UK.