In a major breakthrough for the Indian law enforcement authorities, the Scotland Yard on Tuesday arrested absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya in London. Mallya is likely to be extradited to India at a later date. He is wanted in several economic offences c
ases, including defaulting on bank loans worth crores of rupees. Confirming his arrest, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement that Mallya, 61, was arrested on “behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud”. The statement added that he was take into custody after attending a central London police station. He will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today. The Ministry of Home Affairs immediately directed the CBI and ED to apply for his extradition in IDBI bank loan fraud case.
Earlier, the Indian government requested the Theresa May government to extradite Mallya. The request came when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met the UK Chancellor earlier this year. On February 21, the UK authorities conveyed to their Indian counterparts that the Secretary of State had certified their extradition request. “The UK Home department on February 21 conveyed that the request of India for extradition of Mallya has been certified by the secretary of state and sent to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a district judge to consider the issue of releasing of warrant,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
In the same month, a special court allowed the Enforcement Directorate to invoke the India-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and face probe in a money laundering case. Despite its efforts the ED failed to corner Mallya. In the past they had obtained a non-bailable warrant, revoked his passport and unsuccessfully sought a Interpol warrant. The ED has attached his assets worth Rs 9,661 crore in the case.
The CBI is also investigating Mallya for the alleged loan defaults under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption. Mallya had fled from the country in 2015 and sought refuge in the United Kingdom, after a lookout notice was issued against him. His arrest incidentally comes on the same day British Prime Minister Theresa May called for fresh polls in the country.