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Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher airlines misled banks, UK court told

Indian investigation officials were present in the Westminster magistrate’s court, which will hear the case over eight days.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2017 23:22 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Vijay Mallya,Liquor baron,Extradition treaty
Vijay Mallya arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on December 4.(REUTERS)

The prosecution unveiled three “chapters of dishonesty” on controversial businessman Vijay Mallya, accused of fraudulently obtaining loans from Indian banks, before the Westminster magistrate’s court through the first day of his extradition trial on Monday.

The trial will take place over the course of eight days.

Mark Summers, appearing for the Crown Prosecution Service on India’s behalf, told magistrate Emma Arbuthnot that Mallya’s companies used a number of these loans for “unintended” purposes. Separate loans of Rs 150 crore and Rs 750 crore taken from IDBI Bank, besides funds acquired from the State Bank of India, were specifically mentioned.

Summers quoted from a large number of bank documents, witness statements and emails to present the “three chapters of dishonesty”. These chapters, according to him, were the many misrepresentations made to secure financial assistance; the unintended ways in which the funds were used; and what Mallya and his firms did when the loans were recalled. The prosecution accused the businessman of “squirreling away” funds; using various tactics to prevent banks from retrieving their money; and “playing round robin” by trying to pay off loans from one bank with those obtained from another.

Mallya sat through the proceedings as Summers furnished details of his alleged excesses, including hiring an exclusive corporate jet for a huge fee during his period of crisis. The prosecution said much of the IDBI loan amount was transferred to the Bank of Baroda, from where it was routed to the motor-racing circuit for money-laundering purposes.

Outside the court, Mallya reiterated that all the charges levelled against him were “baseless and fabricated”.