The absconding liquor baron, Vijay Mallya, who is facing extradition proceedings in the UK, was greeted with ‘chor hai’ chants outside The Oval on Sunday as he made his way out of the stadium after watching the World Cup match between India and Australia.
As Mallya came out from the stadium, along with his mother, Lalitha, the crowd surrounded the liquor baron and chanted ‘chor hai’. Asked how he would respond to the chants by the crowd, Mallya said, “I am making sure my mother doesn’t get hurt.”
Earlier in the day, Mallya was seen attending India’s match against Australia at The Oval and evaded questions on his extradition case.
He told ANI, “I am here to watch the game,” and added that “preparations are underway for the next hearing scheduled in July.”
The UK Home Office and the Westminster Court had last year ordered Mallya’s extradition to India over charges of money laundering, fraud and conspiracy after he failed to convince authorities there that he has been made a victim of political intrigue.
On April 8, a UK court had denied permission to the fugitive businessman to appeal against his extradition order to India to face trial for alleged fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.
The 63-year-old embattled liquor baron had approached the court against the February 5 order signed by the UK Home Secretary approving Mallya’s extradition.
The rejection of Mallya’s appeal is seen as a positive development for authorities in India who have been pushing for the extradition of the businessman who faces charges of loan frauds, money laundering and other economic offences.
A major breakthrough was achieved on December 10 when the Westminster Magistrate’s Court found merit in the charges registered against Mallya in India and approved his extradition.
As per the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate, Mallya had allegedly paid USD 200,000 to a British firm and some European countries for displaying the logo of his now defunct Kingfisher airline in Formula One World Championships in London in 1996, 1997, and 1998.
The investigating agency also claimed that the money was paid without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in violation of the FERA norms.
(The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text, only the headline has been changed)