Britain arrests F1 team boss

2017-04-18 15:22
Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya, who was arrested in London. (Gurinder Osan, AP File)

Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya, who was arrested in London. (Gurinder Osan, AP File)

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London - Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya has been arrested in London following an extradition request from India where he is accused of fraud, British police said on Tuesday.

The flamboyant financier, who co-owns Indian Formula One team Force One, appeared in a London court on Tuesday and was granted bail.

Malya secretly fled India in March 2016 owing more than $1 billion after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds.

India submitted an extradition request to Britain in early February after investigators demanded the 61-year-old be brought home to face charges.

India's junior finance minister Santosh Gangwar said the government would do everything in its power to bring Mallya to justice.

"We will not spare anyone who is within the ambit of law. Criminals will not be spared," Gangwar told reporters in New Delhi after the arrest.

"We will definitely work to bring him back to the country."

But the business baron played down the arrest.

'Hype'

"Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in court started today as expected," he posted on his official Twitter account on Tuesday.

Mallya, known for his lavish lifestyle, made Kingfisher beer a global brand and ran a now-defunct airline with the same name.

He was once the owner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore and still owns the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League.

In February the Indian government said it was considering new measures to seize the assets of "big time offenders" who fled abroad.

That same month Mallya was sacked from the board of United Breweries, the firm through which he once controlled his business empire.

Mallya's financial dealings are being investigated by the federal Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, a financial crimes agency.

A Indian court in January ordered a consortium of banks to start the process of recovering loans from the tycoon.

Read more on:    vijay mallya  |  india  |  uk

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