F1 team boss Mallya arrested in Indian fraud probe
Vijay Mallya, the co-owner of Formula 1 motor racing team Force India, was arrested in London yesterday over allegations of fraud in his home country of India.
The 61-year-old was bailed on security of £650,000 ($835,000) after appearing in court.
India is seeking the extradition of Mallya (pictured) after he was implicated in an alleged Rs90-billion ($1.4-million) fraud relating to his now defunct airline Kingfisher Airlines.
However, he played down the latest episode on Tuesday, saying on Twitter: “Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in court started today as expected.”
Mallya left India for the UK in March 2016 as charges against him emerged, with 17 banks pursuing the tycoon for money they claimed to be owed.
Mallya was blocked from receiving $75 million in severance pay from Diageo-owned United Spirits (USL), the Indian drinks group, as banks and creditors demanded that the money should be used to settle outstanding debts.
He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and maintained his commitment to Force India, which finished fourth, its highest-ever position, in the 2016 Formula 1 constructors’ world championship.
Mallya retains the honorary title of founder emeritus at USL, but no longer has a direct role in the running of the USL-owned Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Indian Premier League cricket team, having stepped down as chairman and non-executive director of Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited in February 2016.