Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya has been arrested after the Enforcement Directorate a filed a supplementary affidavit in the ongoing money laundering case. He was, however, immediately released on bail. The affidavit was filed in the Rs 900 crore IDBI-Kingfisher Airlines money laundering case, according to the CNBC-TV18.
The 61-year-old flamboyant businessman, already out on bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Metropolitan Police earlier this year, will be appearing before Westminster Magistrates' Court in London this afternoon where he is expected to be bailed.
"Vijay Mallya has been arrested on money laundering charges and will be appearing in court today," the spokesperson of the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was quoted as saying in a PTI report. However, the fugitive businessman was immediate released on bail, according to media reports.
The case is being probed by the ED and the central probe agency has already filed a charge sheet against him and others in a Mumbai court.
The CPS is arguing the case against Mallya on behalf of the Indian government.
Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot has been hearing Mallya's extradition case at Westminster Magistrates' Court on his previous arrest warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April.
Mallya's trial in that case is scheduled for two weeks, starting 4 December.
The embattled businessman, who has been based in the UK since he fled India in March last year, is wanted in India for his erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crore.
It remains to be seen if both cases will be clubbed together, which may lead to a delay in the trial date.
Mallya had been arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on behalf of Indian authorities on 18 April.
Recently media reports said in a bid to strengthen the evidence to extradite Mallya, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate are preparing a charge sheet alleging he laundered a major chunk of the Rs 6,000 crore bank loans taken for Kingfisher Airlines.
A report in The Times of India had said that the money was diverted through shell companies in seven countries, including the US, the UK, France and Ireland.
"Letters rogatory have already been sent to the US, the UK, France and Ireland and we will get complete details soon," an official was quoted as saying in the report. The official had claimed that the agencies have been able to establish the links between the shell companies and bank accounts in the seven countries.
The agencies were hoping that the latest evidence once submitted before the London court where the final extradition hearing will take place in December, they will have an airtight case. At present, in front of the UK court, the agencies have presented the charges in the nearly Rs 900 crore IDBI Bank loan default case.
The first hearing in the case took place on June 13, when December 4 had been pencilled in as a tentative final hearing date.
If the Chief Magistrate rules in favour of extradition at the end of the trial, the UK home secretary must order Mallya’s extradition within two months of the appropriate day.
However, the case can go through a series of appeals before arriving at a conclusion.
India and the UK have an Extradition Treaty, signed in 1992 and in force since November 1993, under which recently a Bangladeshi national wanted in the UK on murder charges was to be extradited from India.
(With inputs from PTI)
Updated Date: Oct 04, 2017 07:34 AM