Vijay Mallya was arrested by UK's Scotland Yard in London today
New Delhi: Tycoon Vijay Mallya, has been granted bail three hours after he was arrested in Britain today following India's extradition request. Mr Mallya was produced at the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, which granted him bail after a 10-minute hearing. The businessman had slipped out of India a year ago and has been in Britain since. The Indian government had cancelled Mr Mallya's passport and earlier this year made a formal request to the UK government to extradite him to face trial on charges of fraud.
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Mr Mallya was arrested today at about 9.30 am London time (3 pm IST). Scotland Yard said in a statement that, "Officers from the metropolitan police's extradition unit have this morning arrested a man on an extraction warrant. Vijay Mallya, 61, was arrested on behalf of Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud."
The Foreign Ministry had lodged the formal extradition request with the British High Commission in New Delhi after investigators demanded that Mr Mallya be brought home to face charges of financial fraud and defaulting on loans.
The businessman faces at least half a dozen arrest warrants back in India. Last week, a Delhi court put out an open-ended non-bailable warrant against Mr Mallya in a case of alleged violation of foreign exchange rules.
Mr Mallya, a liquor baron known for a lavish lifestyle, has repeatedly refused to appear before courts and investigators in India. On Twitter, he has defended himself, dismissing the charges against him.
Cases against him are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, which handles financial crimes.
Earlier this year, Mr Mallya was sacked from the board of United Breweries, the firm through which he once controlled his business empire. He made Kingfisher beer a global brand and ran a now-defunct airline with the same name, besides being the owner of a cricket team and a Formula One team.
In January this year, the Debt Recovery Tribunal ordered a State Bank of India-led consortium of banks to start the process of recovering the loans that Mr Mallya owes them by attaching his properties.