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CBI, ED tell UK that Vijay Mallya plotted criminal conspiracy

The joint team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in London briefed the United Kingdom’s (UK) Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) about the former liquor baron’s money laundering and defaulting on loans from state-owned banks as part of a "criminal conspiracy".

"I can confirm that our lawyers have met with officials from the CBI to discuss the case," a CPS spokesperson said.

The three-member joint CBI and ED team led by CBI Additional Director Rakesh Asthana had arrived in London to expedite the extradition charges against Mallya. The Supreme Court of India recently found the troubled liquor baron guilty of contempt and asked him to appear before it on July 10, an order expected to help India’s case to seek his extradition from the UK.

"Our aim is to build a strong, infallible case and these meetings will help resolve issues across the table. The CPS will be arguing based on documents provided by CBI and ED, therefore a joint team is here to address queries they may have," official sources said.

According to the sources, CPS, which will argue on May 17 on why Mallya should be extradited to India, had asked for "strong points" of argument and the joint team of officials from CBI and ED briefed it last week. The Indian officers briefed them on how Mallya first convinced the banks that he was taking loans for the operations of Kingfisher Airlines, a budget carrier that he owned.

Lawyers of CPS were informed that Mallya had connived with Yogesh Aggarwal, the then chairman of IDBI Bank which extended a loan of INR 900 crore to the airline which was already debt-ridden. The total outstanding loan with interest stands at INR 9,000 crore.

Vijay Mallya (centre) in happier times.
Vijay Mallya (centre) in happier times. Photo courtesy: RCB

Details of places where money was laundered, including companies/accounts in the UK, have already been shared with the CPS, said sources. Mallya’s flight to London after selling stakes in his companies was indicated by the Indian officials as "part of a criminal conspiracy" and showed there was "no intention" to repay the loans.

The CBI has two cases against Mallya - one related to the INR 900 crore loan default case of IDBI Bank and the other related to a loan default of over INR 6,000 crore filed on the basis of a complaint from a State Bank of India-led consortium.

Mallya was arrested by Scotland Yard last month on fraud allegations, triggering an official extradition process in the British courts. Mallya's extradition proceedings will be heard by senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot at 81 Marylebone Road, London on May 17.

Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Associate Editor

Tushaar has extensive experience as a journalist and in founding two start-up newspapers. He has developed editorial models for both copy and content, and has written several articles, news reports on a wide range of topics. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College and earned a post-graduate diploma in TV Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai. He has worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation.