Fugitive economic offender Current Affairs - 2020

UK Home Secretary approves extradition of Vijay Mallya to India

The UK home secretary has ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya over allegations of £1bn fraud. The UK home secretary noted that Vijay Mallya, the first to be declared Fugitive Economic Offender is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences.

The liquor baron is still defiant and he has said that he would appeal against the extradition.

Vijay Mallya and his Extradition

The judge hearing Mallya’s extradition request noted that Mallya had misrepresented how loans from Indian banks were used. The judge described Mallya as a glamorous, flashy, famous, bejewelled, bodyguarded, ostensibly billionaire playboy who charmed and cajoled these bankers into losing their common sense and persuading them to put their own rules and regulations to one side.

The Indian investigation agencies allege that Mallya has misled Indian Banks about the fortunes of his failing Kingfisher airline, before laundering the cash to fund his Formula One team and other projects. The Enforcement Directorate is investigating the tycoon’s £977m debts linked to the airline, which went bust in 2012.

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Vijay Mallya declared as Fugitive Economic Offender

The  Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) court in Mumbai has declared Vijay Mallya as a Fugitive Economic Offender. Vijay Mallya is the first businessman to be charged under the new fugitive economic offender’s act 2018.

Declaration of the Fugitive Economic Offender

Vijay Mallya is declared as the Fugitive Economic Offender under the following provisions:

  • According to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 a fugitive economic offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for his or her involvement in economic offences involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has left India to avoid prosecution.
  • The investigating agencies have to file an application in a Special Court under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts.
  • The Special Court will issue a notice for the person to appear at a specified place and date at least six weeks from the issue of notice.
  • Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears. If not the person would be declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender based on the evidence filed by the investigating agencies.

The person who is declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender can challenge the proclamation in the High Court within 30 days of such declaration according to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

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