India asks UK to deport Vijay Mallya – BBC News

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The Indian government has asked the UK to deport Vijay Mallya, the former head of Kingfisher Airlines, as part of an investigation into money laundering.

The businessman, who is said to have debts of about $1bn, left India in March and is believed to be in the UK.

Last week authorities in India revoked his diplomatic passport after a court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Mr Mallya, who is a member of the Indian parliament, has denied any wrongdoing.

It is alleged he repeatedly failed to appear before investigators looking into financial irregularities at Kingfisher Airlines, which collapsed in 2013.

Mr Mallya said on Twitter in March that he was an international businessman who had to travel and denied fleeing from India.

He said he was the victim of a “media witch hunt”.

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India’s foreign ministry said it had contacted the UK government to ask for Mr Mallya to be handed over, but was yet to receive a response.

Creditors demand payment

The flamboyant businessman made his fortune selling beer under the Kingfisher brand and branched out into aviation, Formula 1 racing, and Indian cricket.

His debts were incurred by the failure of his airline and he is being pursued by a group of mainly state-run banks who lent him money.

In February he was blocked from receiving a $75m payment for agreeing to step down as chairman of United Spirits, which he sold to Diageo in 2012.

A consortium of banks and creditors had demanded the funds should be used to settle some of Mr Mallya’s outstanding debts.

Earlier this month a consortium of 17 banks, led by the State Bank of India, rejected his proposal to pay 40bn Indian rupees (£416m) by September to settle his loans.

The group said the offer was inadequate and subject to too many conditions.

Following the rejection, the Supreme Court in New Delhi asked the businessman to make a full disclosure of his assets.

India asks UK to deport Vijay Mallya – BBC News