Businessman Vijay Mallya, who is the subject of an extradition request from India for alleged financial irregularities, was arrested by Scotland Yard in London on Tuesday morning, sources told Hindustan Times.
The reason for the arrest of the 61-year-old former liquor and aviation tycoon is not known.
Mallya, who arrived here in March last year and had his Indian passport revoked, would appear before the Westminster magistrates court later in the day, the sources said.
The flamboyant businessman is wanted in India for defaulting on loan worth around Rs 9,000 crore related to Kingfisher Airlines that was grounded in 2012.
The UK had certified said India’s request for Mallya’s extradition, the government said a few weeks ago.
“The UK home department on February 21 conveyed that the request of India for extradition of Mallya has been certified by the secretary of state and sent to the Westminster magistrates’ court for a district judge to consider the issue of releasing of warrant,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on March 24.
Recently, a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India managed to sell his iconic Kingfisher villa in Goa after three failed attempts at auction.
The sea-front villa, which was Mallya’s party pad, was bought by actor-businessman Sachiin Joshi for Rs 73 crore. The villa was among the assets Mallya pledged to his lenders, who took possession of the property in May 2016.
The villa was legally owned by United Breweries Holdings, the parent of the Kingfisher Airline.
Updated 22.31 hrs IST:
The Westminster magistrates court later granted him bail on a £650,000 (Rs. 5.3 crores in Indian Rupee) bond and set the next hearing of his case for May 17.
Scotland Yard confirmed the arrest in a statement to Hindustan Times: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Extradition Unit have this morning, Tuesday 18 April, arrested a man on an extraction warrant. Vijay Mallya, 61 (18/12/1955), was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud.”
The statement added he was arrested “after attending a central London police station”.
In New Delhi, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the arrest was in connection with India’s extradition request. “Legal process in this regard is underway in the UK. The two governments are in touch in this context,” he said.
Mallya, who arrived in London in March last year and had his passport revoked later, is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth around Rs 9,000 crore related to Kingfisher Airlines that was grounded in 2012.
After getting bail, Mallya tweeted that the extradition hearing had begun in court “as expected”.
(With agency inputs)
Source: HT. Featured Image: Vijay Mallya (AFP File Photo)
(This article has been published from a syndicate feed without editing by RNW staff)