Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in India for defaulting on bank loans, was arrested in London on Tuesday. Mallya was taken into custody by Scotland Yard and could have been extradited to India. British authorities have informed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about the arrest, say news reports. However, within few hours after the arrest a local court granted him bail. After securing bail, Mallya tweeted, “Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in the Court started today as expected.”
A Metropolitan Police statement from London said officers from the Extradition Unit arrested Mallya on an extradition warrant from India. "Mallya was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud," the statement said.
The Westminster Magistrates' Court later gave him bail on a 650,000 pound bond. The next hearing of the case will be on 17th May.
Mallya fled to Britain in March 2016 after being pursued in courts by Indian banks seeking to recover Rs8,191 crore owed by his now defunct Kingfisher Airline.
The banks had been able to recover only Rs155 crore. Despite multiple injunctions, Mallya failed to appear before investigators -- and then flew out of India.
Earlier in February, India had handed over the request for extradition of Mallya as received from the CBI to the UK High Commission in New Delhi so that the liquor baron can face trial here.
Last week the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate from Delhi had issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Mallya in case of alleged violation of foreign exchange rules.
The Delhi Court was hearing final arguments in the 2000 case related to alleged violation by Mallya of the erstwhile Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) provision in arranging funds to advertise his company's liquor products abroad. On 4th October last year, the Enforcement Directorate had told the Court that Mallya can obtain emergency travel documents to return to India and face the FERA violation case.
Earlier in January 2017, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), had barred Mallya and six officials of United Spirits Ltd (USL) from trading in the securities market. They were "restrained from accessing the securities market and prohibited from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in securities in any manner whatsoever, either directly or indirectly" by SEBI.
In January this year, the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) had ordered attachment and recovery of Mallya's properties for defaulting on bank loans by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
The Bengaluru bench of the Tribunal had said properties of Mallya and Kingfisher worth Rs6,203 crore plus interest at 11.5% from 26 July 2013 can be recovered by a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India (SBI).
"The Tribunal has allowed our petitions against Mallya's Kingfisher and issued an order to attach their properties for recovering the amount (Rs6,203 crore) with interest," counsel for the consortium had told reporters.