New Delhi, Apr 19: A day after brief arrest of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in India for defaulting on over Rs 8,000 crore in bank loans, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has decided to visit the United Kingdom. According to initial reports, a team ED will visit the United Kingdom, where Vijay Mallya is currently staying. The ED also will file its first chargesheet against Vijay Mallya and others in the IDBI bank loan default case. The agency is probing this alleged loan fraud case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Vijay Mallya was briefly arrested on Tuesday and granted bail within few hours. According to Metropolitan Police, Vijay Mallya was taken into custody after attending a central London police station. The Westminster Magistrates’ Court later gave him bail on a 650,000 pound bond. The next hearing of the case will be on May 17. The Westminster Magistrate’s court granted Mallya bail on some stringent conditions, instructing “neither he can apply for travel documents nor attempt to leave the UK”. It further directed the business tycoon to live in Hertfordshire and keep his cell phone on round the clock. Mallya’s revoked passport will also be retained until further orders of the court.
After getting bail, Vijay Mallya took on Indian media and tweeted: “Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in court started today as expected.” Mallya fled to Britain in March 2016 after being pursued in courts by Indian banks seeking to recover Rs 8,191 crore owed by his now defunct Kingfisher Airline. The banks had been able to recover only Rs 155 crore. Despite multiple injunctions, Mallya failed to appear before investigators — and then flew out of India.
The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that India had handed over a request for the extradition of Vijay Mallya to the British High Commission, saying it had a legitimate case against him on charges of financial irregularities and loan default.