Pursued by Indian justice for suspicion of embezzlement, former Kingfisher boss and current owner of the F1 Force India team was arrested in London.
After having managed to escape for more than a year to the Indian justice, Vijay Mallya was finally caught up in London. The Indian businessman, under an extradition warrant issued by his country, was arrested on Tuesday after visiting a London police station. Presented to the court, he was later released on bail, with the British judges now considering the conditions for a possible transfer to Indian justice. The decision may take several months but, already deprived of a passport, the former baron of beer and current co-owner of the Formula 1 Force India team now sees the threat of a lawsuit coming to fruition – even if the Great Britain has not allowed any extradition to India since 2002.
Vijay Mallya, aged sixty-one, left his country in March 2016 to avoid answering the judges’ summons. He denounced a “widely biased investigation that convicts him without trial”. In two cases he is suspected of embezzlement, while a consortium of 17 banks accuses him of deliberately attempting to escape repayment of a $ 1.4 billion debt by declaring bankruptcy Its airline Kingfisher Airlines, in 2012.
An old golden boy
Established in 2005, it had become the second-largest Indian company, but it never made any profit during its short existence. Widely in debt, the company was finally grounded seven years later, after it stopped paying airports, its creditors , its employees , its taxes … Vijay Mallya always explained that this bankruptcy was “an unlucky commercial failure” , Caused by an unfavorable economic environment and state support for the rival Air India company, where the Indian media present it as the embodiment of the drift of the country’s financial system .