British police yesterday arrested Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya in London on behalf of authorities in India, where he is wanted on charges of money laundering and bank demands that he pay back more than a billion dollars in loans extended to his now-defunct airline.
Mallya was arrested after showing up in a police station, said a statement from the Metropolitan Police in London. At a preliminary hearing, Mallya was granted conditional bail and released with the case adjourned until May 17.
In New Delhi, the government hailed Mallya’s arrest, saying it would not spare anyone who indulged in fraud.
“Mallya will be brought back to India. The government is working toward it. No one will be spared,” said Santosh Gangwar, the junior minister for finance.
India’s Enforcement Directorate, now investigating the liquor baron’s debts totaling 94 billion rupees (USD1.45 billion), asked a New Delhi court last year to demand Mallya’s presence during proceedings.
At the time, it said Mallya was not cooperating with investigators, and three times ignored their summons to give evidence.
Mallya was famous for his flashy lifestyle and lavish parties attended by fashion models and Bollywood stars.