Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Kingfisher Airlines tycoon loses appeal against extradition to India

The Indian multimillionaire businessman Vijay Mallya has lost his appeal against a decision to extradite him to India to face allegations of a £1bn fraud at his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

High court judges on Monday rejected Mallya’s appeal against a 2018 decision granting his extradition, ruling that there was a “prima facie case of fraud by false representation”.

The then home secretary Sajid Javid signed an order authorising Mallya’s extradition in February 2019, saying he was “accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money-laundering offences”.

Mallya, the self-proclaimed “king of the good times” who lives in a £11.5m mansion in the sleepy Hertfordshire village of Tewin, has previously dismissed the allegations that he fled India leaving a trail of £977m worth of debts as “ludicrous” and said the allegations were politically motivated. He has said he made an “unconditional” offer to pay what he owed in full in July 2018.

A judge ruled in December 2018 that Mallya had misrepresented how loans from Indian banks were used and the decision on his extradition was approved by Javid.

The senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot described Mallya as a “glamorous, flashy, famous, bejewelled, bodyguarded, ostensibly billionaire playboy who charmed and cajoled these bankers into losing their common sense and persuading them to put their own rules and regulations to one side”.

Mallya, 64, is alleged to have knowingly misled largely Indian state-owned banks about the fortunes of his failing Kingfisher airline, before laundering the cash to fund his former Force India Formula One team and other projects.
20/04/20 Guardian
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