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Court allows fugitive Indian billionaire to spend $32,000 per week

Vijay Mallya Source: Facebook

Vijay Mallya is facing extradition to India over charges of fraud and money laundering after 13 different banks in India accused him of defrauding them of nearly $2 billion.

A billionaire Indian businessman wanted by the Indian law enforcement agencies over an alleged $1.5 billion (US) fraud has been allowed by a British court to spend 18,000 pounds every week towards his living expenses.

Vijay Mallya, a former member of parliament and liquor baron, is facing extradition proceedings in England after he left India in 2016 following the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines and subsequent defaults on Rs. 10,000 crore ($2 billion) bank loans.

While his global assets remain frozen after Indian authorities began pursuing him over the alleged fraud, the London High Court this week increased his living allowance from £5,000 ($8,834) to £18,325 ($32,378) per week, the Times of India reported.

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya

Also known as the 'King of good times' because of his extravagant lifestyle, Mr Mallya owns the Indian Premier League franchise of Royal Challengers Bangalore. He also co-owns formula one team Sahara Force India.   

Earlier this month, the UK High Court ordered the embattled businessman to pay $90 million in a claim to Singapore-based BOC Aviation and BOC Aviation, Ireland over an aircraft leasing deal for his Kingfisher Airlines.

62-year-old Mallya is currently on a 650,000-pound bail bond since his arrest on an extradition warrant by Scotland Yard in April in 2017.

The Indian authorities allege Mr Mallya committed a fraud as he never intended to pay back the bank loans that are now worth approximately $2 billion. But Mr Mallya denies the fraud charges and says the failure of his Kingfisher Airlines was the result of a business failure within a wider context of a global financial crisis.

He has been fighting an extradition case in a London court on the charges of fraud and money laundering.  

Mallya has also applied to have the freeze order against his global assets discharged. The matter is expected to be heard in April by a UK court. 

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