Vijay Mallya released on bail within hours after arrest

ANI | Updated: Oct 03, 2017 20:08 IST

London [U.K.], Oct. 3 (ANI): Fugitive Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was granted bail within hours after he was arrested in London on Tuesday for the second time on a fresh charge of money laundering brought by the Indian government.

He was granted bail and released on a bond of £60,000 and will appear in court for next hearing on November 20, 2017. His actual extradition hearing is scheduled on December 04.

The charge was supplementary to the fraud charges already in place and alleges that the funds Mallya fraudulently obtained through loans to Kingfisher Airlines was channelled to his Force India Formula One team in which he has taken a very active role while he awaits extradition to India.

When the 61-year-old tycoon was produced in Westminster Magistrates' Court for bail proceedings, he looked relaxed and amiable in court

The defence agreed to review the evidence and will prepare its response before the actual extradition hearing on December 04.

The charge of money laundering was already included in the original fraud allegations made by the government but the charge that the funds were channelled to Force India is merely a new detail.

The Indian Government had made an extradition request in February to Britain to send back the businessman to face trial and since then the Indian Government officials have been pursuing the case of his extradition. The issue was raised on several occasions with the UK Government authorities in London.

The CBI had submitted extradition request in respect of Mallya regarding the case under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for his extradition from the U.K.

The extradition request was sent to the U.K. for their consideration under bilateral extradition treaty.

The UK Police had earlier arrested the liquor baron on April 18, 2017 on separate charges of fraud but he was released on the bail.

Mallaya, who has been staying in the UK for over a year now, is accused of defaulting on loans worth Rs. 9,000 crore to a group of public sector banks in India.

In a June 2017 hearing at the London court, in a major setback to India, the court had expressed that New Delhi had not provided evidence to Mallya yet.

Mallaya is among 53 persons, who are facing prosecution complaints from the Directorate of Enforcement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and they are absconding, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said in July. (ANI)