Businessman Vijay Mallya, who is the subject of an extradition request from India for alleged financial irregularities, was arrested by Scotland Yard in London on Tuesday morning, sources told Hindustan Times.
The reason for the arrest of the 61-year-old former liquor and aviation tycoon is not known.
Mallya, who arrived here in March last year and had his Indian passport revoked, would appear before the Westminster magistrates court later in the day, the sources said.
The flamboyant businessman is wanted in India for defaulting on loan worth around Rs 9,000 crore related to Kingfisher Airlines that was grounded in 2012.
The UK had certified said India’s request for Mallya’s extradition, the government said a few weeks ago.
Soon after reports of the arrest, BJP MP Subramaniam Swamy congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Thanks and congratulations to PM Modi for this. Modi means business and he was always in a fight against corruption. It’s time for Mallya to go to jail,” Swamy told CNN-News18. “This is just the beginning…. Lalit Modi could be next.”
Mallya, known for his extravagant lifestyle and who once branded himself the ‘King of Good Times’, was sacked in February from the board of United Breweries, the firm through which he once controlled his business empire.
“The UK home department on February 21 conveyed that the request of India for extradition of Mallya has been certified by the secretary of state and sent to the Westminster magistrates’ court for a district judge to consider the issue of releasing of warrant,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on March 24.
Recently, a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India managed to sell his iconic Kingfisher villa in Goa after three failed attempts at auction.
In January, a court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans.
Mallya, who remains a part-owner of the Force India Formula One team, has come to personify India’s problems with bad debts that are piling up on the balance sheets of banks.
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