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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Kingfisher tycoon loses extradition appeal

Vijay Mallya faces money laundering and fraud charges in India

Vijay Mallya who faces extradition to India over the collapse of his airline. AP
Vijay Mallya who faces extradition to India over the collapse of his airline. AP

A British judge has rejected a first attempt by fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya to appeal against his extradition to India where he faces charges of money laundering and fraud.

A magistrate ordered in December that Mr Mallya, 63, should return to India after fleeing to the UK in 2016 leaving behind debts of more than $1 billion following the collapse of his brewery and airline empire.

The decision was confirmed by Home Secretary Sajid Javid in February but the businessman challenged the ruling claiming that he was the subject of a politically-motivated campaign.

High Court judge William Davis last week ruled against Mr Mallya in his first attempt to prevent his extradition but he can make a fresh appeal to the courts, said a spokesman for the judiciary, a move that would delay his return to India.

The businessman was arrested in 2017 after a consortium of 17 banks accused him of failing to pay back loans of $1.3 billion for his now-defunct Kingfisher airline.

The criminal case against Mr Mallya was launched in Indian after investigators trawled the financial affairs of the airline after it was grounded in 2012.

Despite being in deep trouble, bank loans for the airline were pumped into two “vanity projects” including a Formula One team owned by the businessman and a corporate jet, a UK court found.

He claims the collapse of his airline was an unfortunate corporate failure affected caused by a surge in fuel costs and mechanical mishaps.

Updated: April 8, 2019 05:47 PM

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