He owes nearly a billion pounds to Indian banks for loan defaults
In a second time this year, Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya was arrested in London and later released on bail after facing new accusations of money-laundering with some funds allegedly going to his Force India Formula One motor racing team, a London court heard on Tuesday.
Mallya has been wanted by Indian authorities on charges of money laundering and loan default worth nearly a billion pounds extended to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Confirming the re-arrest today, a spokesperson of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told PTI: “Vijay Mallya has been arrested on money laundering charges and will be appearing in court today.” CPS will be arguing the case against Mallya on behalf of the Indian government.
Launching the new extradition proceedings at London’s Westminster magistrates court, Mark Summers told Reuters that the original allegations related to fraudulently obtaining and misusing funds, while the new charges are relating to the distribution of those funds: “The government alleges for example some of the funds have ended up with the Force India Formula One team.” Summers is the lawyer representing the Indian government.
According to multiple media reports, Indian law enforcement agencies — Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) —have filed separate chargesheets in the UK after they found Mallya diverting funds to shell companies outside India, including entities in the UK.
Mallya’s arrest today was in connection to a money-laundering case filed by ED while his arrest and subsequent bail in April this year was because of a CBI chargesheet. Mallya had earlier slammed the money-laundering charges against him as “wild, baseless”.
The Indian government had earlier this year handed over a formal request to the British authorities for the extradition of Mallya, stating that the businessman had a legitimate case against him on charges of financial irregularities and loan default.
Indian Formula One team owner has repeatedly defended himself on Twitter. Today again, he told the media outside the court: “I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them.” Mallya has been living in the UK since 2016.
According to Reuters, the next hearing in the case will take place on 20 November with a full eight-day extradition hearing due to start on 4 December. The judge will then make a decision based on whether there is a prima facie case against Mallya and whether the alleged crimes would be offences in Britain as well as India.