Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested in London on Tuesday in a money laundering case filed by India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) before being released on a bail bond of £650,000 by the Westminster magistrates’ court.
The 61-year-old fugitive businessman, who was arrested earlier this year and granted bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Metropolitan Police, was released on the same bail conditions to appear for his trial on December 4.
An ED spokesperson said the UK authorities took cognisance of its affidavit and moved for Mallya’s extradition under money laundering charges as well. A fresh nonbailable warrant was issued against Mallya in India after ED’s chargesheet in the case.
Speaking to PTI outside the courtroom, Mallya said he had “done nothing wrong” and described the allegations against him as “fabricated”. “I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them,” he said.
“I have not eluded any court. If it is my lawful duty to be here, I’m happy to be here,” he said, adding, “I’ve given enough evidence to prove my case.”
The judge, chief magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot, said Mallya had been freed on the “same bail conditions as before”. Earlier, the UK’s crown prosecution service, which is arguing the case on behalf of the Indian government, had confirmed the arrest.
“The Government of India laid further supplemental money laundering charges in India. The new charge is essentially showing where the money went to. For example, it is alleged that some of the funds ended up with the Force India racing team,” a CPS spokesperson said.
As the new laundering charge effectively joined up with the existing fraud charges, the legal process included re-certification of the extradition request by the Home Office and a re-arrest of Mallya, which was done before a case management hearing on Tuesday afternoon.
He is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crore.