A British court orders extradition of Vijay Mallya
A British court on Monday 10th December, has ordered that Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya should face extradition to India on financial fraud allegations.
Vijay Mallya, wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around $1bn (£785m which amounted in Indian Rupees Rs 9,000 crore, has been extradited by the the Westminster Magistrates' Court in Londonwhere his extradition case was heard on Monday.
Mr Mallya, whose business empire once included Kingfisher beer, left India in March 2016 after defaulting on debts of more than $1bn (£785m).
Judge Emma Arbuthnot said Monday there were substantial misrepresentations in Mallya's characterizations of his financial dealings.
She said loans were obtained based on false statements and that banks had been fooled by Mallya's flamboyant personality and purported vast wealth.
The 62-year-old tycoon can still appeal the ruling, which was made in Westminster Magistrates' Court.
Mallya showed no emotion and drank from a plastic water bottle when the ruling was announced.
Following the hearing, Mr Mallya declined to say if he would appeal against the ruling.
"My legal team will be reviewing the judgment in detail and determining the next steps forward," he said.
He is accused by India of money laundering and conspiracy involving hundreds of millions of dollars. He has denied wrongdoing in repeated court appearances.
Mallya was once a leading figure among India's business elite.
Mallya, chairman of the UB Group conglomerate and chief executive of the Force India Formula One team, left India in March 2016 owing more than $1 billion after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds.
The loans from the state-owned IDBI bank were intended to bail out his failed carrier Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya said in July that he had made an "unconditional offer" to an Indian court in a bid to settle the charges, but denies that was an admission of guilt.
"I cannot understand how my extradition decision... and my settlement offer are linked in any way," he wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
"Wherever I am physically, my appeal is 'please take the money'. I want to stop the narrative that I stole money," he added.
The case is being heard by England's Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who handles the most complex extradition cases.
"The focus of our case is on his conduct, how he misused the banks," lawyer Mark Summers, representing the Indian authorities, said during an earlier hearing.
He told the court that Kingfisher Airlines had been incurring losses and was forced to defer payments to its creditors. It sought loans in October 2009 and hoped to emerge from the global financial crisis as a profitable venture.
"This was an airline in trouble at this stage, which is why it was seeking financial assistance from a large number of banks," for large amounts of money, Summers said.
He stepped down as the director of the Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore last year.
His financial dealings are being investigated by the federal Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, a financial crimes agency.
Mallya was once known as the "King of Good Times" but dropped off India's most wealthy list in 2014, engulfed by Kingfisher Airlines' massive debts. He has been living in a sprawling $15 million (13 million euro) mansion in southeast England but has denied absconding.
- Asian Tribune -