Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya was arrested on Tuesday in London in connection with a money laundering case, but was granted bail within few minutes. Today's arrest was part of a second money laundering case that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed in a London court. Former liquor baron is accused of transferring a huge chunk of Rs 6,027-crore loan he took for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to shell companies in seven countries.
Mallya, who was taken to Westminster Magistrates' Court, was put under procedural arrest, but he did not stay behind bars for long. Mallya was granted bail soon after. More charges are expected to be added at Westminster Magistrates' Court today, UK's Crown Prosecution Service said.
The 61-year-old former tycoon said 'no' to the chief magistrate's query on whether he agreed with his extradition to India. Vijay Mallya's lawyers said that an arrest in a case like this is not out of the ordinary. Hearing on the bail took place at Westminster court in London.
The procedural arrest is expected to strengthen the extradition case against Mallya. Meanwhile, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has stated that they have a watertight case case against Mallya.
Indian authorities have filed two separate charge-sheets in the UK over Mallya's alleged money laundering - one by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the other by the Enforcement Directorate. Mallya's April arrest was in connection with the CBI charge-sheet while today's arrest was in connection with the ED's application.
As the final hearing on Vijay Mallya's extradition is expected in December, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) will be pinning their hopes on the December 4 extradition hearing. The new evidence is likely to build up a stronger case for Mallya's extradition from the United Kingdom.
This was Mallya's second arrest in the UK after he escaped from the country. Mallya owes Indian banks Rs 6,963 crore (Rs Rs 9,091 crore with interest) and is wanted in India for cases relating to foreign exchange violation, debt recovery and embezzlement.
Mallya fled to Britain in March 2016 after being pursued for recovery of Rs 9,091 crore owed to a consortium of 17 Indian banks by his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya was earlier arrested and granted bail in London on April 18 by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant.
India has been pushing for Mallya's extradition, with even the Prime Minister's Office getting involved. In November last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally explained to visiting British PM Theresa May why it was important that Mallya be returned to India.