Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

'Usual Indian media hype', says Vijay Mallya after getting bail

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is facing money-laundering charges, was arrested today (18 April) in London by the Scotland Yard on behalf of Indian authorities.

"Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit have this morning, Tuesday 18 April arrested a man on an extradition warrant", a police statement said.

He was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court later on Tuesday to be booked, the Times of India reported.

However, shortly after his arrest, Mallya had reportedly been granted conditional bail, as per television media reports.

"Extradition hearing in court started today as expected", Mallya said in a message on social network Twitter, downplaying what he called "usual Indian media hype".

Mallya built a fortune through his Kingfisher alcohol empire but is wanted in India over alleged debts of around £1bn following the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines in 2012.

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India and Britain have a mixed record on extradition, say legal experts.

The arrest said to be a procedural move, marks the beginning if the extradition process to bring Vijay Mallya back to India. The CBI had also arrested nine officials of Kingfisher Airlines and IDBI Bank Ltd, including the bank's former chief.

Last month, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed that extradition of the absconding liquor baron has been stratified by the Secretary of State of the U.K. Government and added that a warrant would soon be released against him.

An India-based spokesman for Mallya's UB Group did not comment immediately.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation, the country's equivalent of the FBI, had charged the beleaguered tycoon with cheating and conspiracy for defaulting on a 9 billion rupee loan, given in 2009.

The rather-long extradition process in the United Kingdom begins with a decision by the judge as to whether the arrest warrant should be issued.

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