Liquor baron Vijaya Mallaya was arrested yet again by the London police in a money laundering case filed against him by India’s Enforcement Directorate. The absconding businessman is wanted in India by a consortium of 17 Indian banks for a loan default of 9000 crores lend to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. However, Mallaya was granted bail shortly after his hearing in the Westminster Magistrate’s court on Tuesday as cited by UK’s CPS (Crown Prosecution Service). Before the hearing, the business tycoon said he had “done nothing wrong” and the allegations against him were ”fabricated”.
The business tycoon now faces fresh charges of money laundering with some of his funds allegedly going to his co-owner Force India Formula One motor racing team.
Earlier in April this year, Mallaya was released on bail after an extradition warrant executed by the Metropolitan Police. The Indian government has filed two distinct cases against the liquor baron-one by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and another by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The CPS in UK will be handling the case on behalf of the Indian government. “Vijay Mallya has been arrested on money laundering charges and will be appearing in court today,” a CPS spokesperson said. Back in India Mallaya faces at least half a dozen of arrest warrants.
Earlier this year the businessman was even sacked from the board of directors of United Breweries group which was the core of his business conglomerate.
Mallaya’s first case on extradition is being heard by Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot at the West Magistrate’s Court, executed by the Scotland Yard.
His trial on this case is scheduled for December 4th and is yet to be seen if the trial will be delayed in case both the cases are fused together.
Mallaya is involved in cases related to foreign exchange violation, debt recovery, embezzlement and owes a whopping 9091 crore to the Indian banks.
The CBI case against was lodged Vijaya Mallaya for defrauding of public sector banks under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. In July 2015 the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a loan default case against the liquor baron based on a complaint registered by IDBI bank.
On January this year, the CBI slapped charges of fraud and criminal conspiracy against Mallaya and executed arrest warrant for four IDBI managers and Kingfisher Airlines staff in
In March 2016 the Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case against Mallaya and the Kingfisher Airlines Chief Financial Officer A. Raghunathan, under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act). The ED also issued an order to confiscate various properties of Mallaya and his associate firms. relation to misappropriation of 950 crores.
Launching the new extradition proceedings at the West Minister Magistrate’s Court, Mark Summers, the lawyer for the Indian government said, “while the initial case was related to fraudulently obtaining and misusing funds the fresh allegations are issued for the inappropriate distribution of funds.” The government suspects that some of those funds have been accumulated by the Force India Formula one team.
Mallaya appeared before the court in an elegant blue jacket and white shirt, in a defiance to the allegations against him. He was released on bail immediately after the short hearing.The next hearing will take place on November 20th followed by a complete 8 days extradition hearing beginning on December 4th. Based on the prima facie evidence the judge will then decide if Mallaya is culpable both in Britain and India and whether the ruling can be challenged in a higher court.