UK extradition hearing to start for Indian tycoon

  • money laundering
- Associated Press, LONDON

Dec 4, 2017-

Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya is set to face an extradition hearing in London that should determine whether he is sent back to India to face money laundering allegations related to the collapse of several of his businesses.

The Westminster Magistrates Court hearing, which begins Monday and is due to last about eight days, will be widely followed in India, where Mallya is known for his flashy lifestyle and lavish parties attended by fashion models and Bollywood stars. 

Mallya, who denies the allegations, was once hailed as India’s version of British entrepreneur Richard Branson for his investments in a liquor company, an airline, a Formula One team and an Indian Premier League cricket club. In November, he called the allegations “baseless and fabricated.” Asked by reporters outside the courthouse why he didn’t return to India to answer the charges, he snapped back: “That’s none of your business.”

Mallya launched Kingfisher Airlines in 2005 and the carrier set new standards for quality and service, forcing competing airlines to improve. But it ran into trouble as it expanded. The Indian government suspended the airline’s license in 2012 after it failed to pay pilots and engineers for months.

That triggered the collapse of several more of Mallya’s businesses. He left India last year after a group of banks demanded he pay back more than $1 billion in loans extended to his airline.

He has been living in Britain since March 2016 and has refused to return to India to face trial in the Kingfisher Airlines case. India canceled his passport and began an extradition process.

Published: 04-12-2017 08:48

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