Wed | Jul 17, 2019

Tridents owner up for extradition

Published:Wednesday | December 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Mallya

LONDON (CMC):

Exiled Indian business magnate Dr Vijay Mallya could face fraud charges in his homeland after a court on Monday ruled that he could be extradited from the United Kingdom.

The 62-year-old, who has been battling extradition in recent years, is the owner of the Caribbean Premier League franchise, Barbados Tridents.

He is wanted in India to face alleged bank fraud and money-laundering charges amounting to nearly US$ one billion but has been holed up at a mansion in Hertfordshire in east England, after fleeing India two years ago.

Monday's ruling, issued in Westminster Magistrates' Court, has to be approved by the Home Secretary, and Mallya has 14 days to appeal.

"My legal team will be reviewing the judgment in detail and determining the next steps forward," Mallya said following the hearing.

Mallya has been out on bail following his arrest last year.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) welcomed the ruling and said it was anxious to have Mallya extradited.

"We hope to bring him back soon and conclude the case," a spokesman was quoted as saying.

"CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process."

Once considered one of India's wealthiest men, Mallya ran into financial troubles following the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines and his forced departure as chairman from liquor giants Diageo.

He lost control of Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore and Formula One racing team, Force India.

Mallya, however, has remained in charge of the Tridents franchise, ever since becoming involved ahead of the 2016 season.

Under his ownership, Tridents have struggled to remain among the elite teams, failing to make the play-offs in each of the last three years.

Earlier this year, Tridents lost eight of their 10 matches - including all five home fixtures at Kensington Oval - as they finished bottom of the standings.