Vijay Mallya, the business tycoon who fled the country in a money laundering fraud to UK, had found respite abroad, escaping from the clutches of the Indian Judiciary. However, the relief appears to be short term as the Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is conducting a probe against the liquor baron for alleged “money laundering” in UK and beyond.
Vijay Mallya, is accused of using several companies for laundering money from India to UK through an indirect route and a complex web of companies, and further to Switzerland and other countries.
SFO has starting investing on the matter because of the suspicion that Vijay Mallya may have some British companies linked in his money laundering fraud scheme. SFO has started collecting information about Mallya’s movable and immovable assets, his investment and shares in various companies in the UK and bank account details.
Government sources say the SFO action should strengthen India’s extradition case against Mallya. To extradite Mallya, it has to be proved that Mallya cheated public banks in India and subsequently, money laundering has to be proved a ‘crime’ in the eye of British law as well.
A senior government officer said,
“India has already provided ample evidence on how Mallya used his companies/associates to invest in Britain from the money he cheated in India and how Britain’s soil has been used to further launder money to other countries. Now, SFO probe will provide more evidence, collected by British investigators”.
In a chargesheet filed in May, the businessman is accused of laundering around Rs 417 crore from Rs 900 crore loan taken from IDBI Bank by forming a web of companies and nominating directors in those companies who were either his personal staff, retired company officials or a third person. Vijay Mallya is currently being tried in the Westminster Court in Britain.