Britain court orders Mallya to be extradited on fraud charges

Vastavam web: Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya should be extradited from Britain to India to face fraud charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, a London court ruled on Monday. India wants to bring criminal action against Mallya, 62, whose business interests have ranged from aviation to liquor, over $1.4 billion in loans Kingfisher took out from Indian banks which the authorities argue he had no intention of repaying.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot, England’s chief magistrate, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court false representations had been made to Indian banks, including state-owned IDBI, regarding what the loans would be used for and she ruled there was evidence of conspiracy to defraud the lenders and of money laundering. She said the banks themselves had made a number of failings but said there was little evidence that senior IDBI officials had been involved in planning to defraud their own bank.

She said Mallya, nicknamed “the King of Good Times” after the slogan of one of his premium beers and his hard partying lifestyle, had used the loans, among other things, for “vanity projects” such as Force India which had received payments at a time when it was struggling in 2010. “I have found that on the face of it, (Mallya) was doing everything he could by using honest or dishonest means to keep the company going,” she said. Ordering his extradition, she said there was a prima facie case against the tycoon, who moved to Britain in March 2016. Her ruling must now be approved by Britain’s interior minister.