Business tycoon Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India for several cases — from FERA violation to non-repayment of loans — was reportedly arrested in London by the Scotland Yard on Tuesday. He was later granted bail, and released after three hours.
"Officers from the metropolitan police's extradition unit have this morning arrested a man on an extraction warrant. Vijay Mallya, 61, was arrested on behalf of Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud," Scotland Yard said in a statement.
Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected.— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) April 18, 2017
Mallya faces several arrest warrants — including a non-bailable warrant by a Mumbai court — over non-repayment of loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore that he and his companies owed to a consortium of 17 banks. He had fled India last year without paying back the loans.
The UK authorities have reportedly informed the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) about the arrest, and also said that he will be presented in a magistrate court soon.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May had recently met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley when he was in the UK, and the two are believed to have discussed — among other things — the arrest of Mallya and his possible extradition back to India.
Mallya had been the owner of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), which had been established in 2003 and by mid-2011 had the second-largest passenger share among domestic carriers in India. However, it was soon besieged by financial problems, and it later emerged that Mallya may have used money meant for the airline for his personal benefit.
KFA's licence was suspended in 2012, and many of its employees went months without a salary, although they were technically employed by the airline. They returned to work later that year, but the carrier never recovered from the downward spiral it was in. The Central government finally rescinded all flight rights of the airline in 2013.
Mallya was also known for bringing Formula One (F1) racing to India. He co-owns the Force India F1 team.
'Arrest in connection with India's request to UK'
While responding to a query regarding the arrest of Vijay Mallya in London, an official spokesperson of the MEA said his arrest was in connection with the request by the Indian authorities to the UK government seeking his extradition. He said legal procedure is underway between the two governments and they are in touch with each other.