BELEAGUERED Indian industrialist Vijay Mallya was arrested this morning (April 18) in the UK by Scotland Yard on India’s request for his extradition.
Mallya, 61, was arrested after attending a central London police station and will appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London later on Tuesday.
India provided a formal extradition request for Mallya, under the terms of the extradition treaty between India and the UK, through a note verbale on February 8.
Indian investigators demanded that Mallya be brought home to face charges of financial fraud and defaulting on loans prompting the country’s foreign ministry to lodge a formal request with the British High Commission in New Delhi.
Mallya has repeatedly refused to appear before courts and investigators in India since he secretly fled to Britain last March, after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds.
His financial dealings are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and federal Enforcement Directorate, a financial crimes agency.
Mallya, known for his extravagant lifestyle, was sacked in February from the board of United Breweries, the firm through which he once controlled his business empire.
He made Kingfisher beer a global brand and ran a now-defunct airline with the same name, besides being the owner of a cricket side and a Formula One team.
More than half a dozen court warrants have already been issued against his name, and he owes banks at least $1 billion.
In January an Indian court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering roughly $1 billion in loans.
Mallya has dismissed the charges against him and defended himself in messages from his personal account on social media network Twitter.[TheChamp-Sharing]