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DOUBLE WIN: As UK Signs Off On Vijay Mallya's Extradition, India To Also Get Details Of Absconder's Swiss Bank Accounts

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:

In a back-to-back double win for India and a back-to-back double whammy for Vijay Mallya, minutes after the UK Home office signed off on the fugitive liquor baron's extradition, Republic TV and Republic Bharat have learnt that India will also be getting details of his Swiss bank accounts.

The details of Mallya's Swiss bank accounts will be made available to India upon the request of the CBI. Republic TV's Senior News Editor Shawan Sen has accessed details of the Swiss court order relating to the decision, revealing the following:

  • Mallya fought to prevent the transfer to India of information related to his Swiss bank accounts. Three judgments handed down by the Federal Supreme Court on December 12 and 13, 2018, dismissed his appeals.
  • The request for assistance came from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which had filed a suit against Mallya for fraud and money laundering in relation to over one billion euro in non-repaid loans. 
  • The CBI had asked Swiss authorities to block funds sheltered in four accounts. The accounts included one in the name of Vijay Mallya held at Edmond de Rothschild (Switzerland) SA and three accounts in the names of Drayton Resources, Black Forest Holdings and Harrison Finance held with Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique (CBH), along with information on five of his companies. The request of the CBI was accepted by the Public Prosecutor of Geneva in August 2018.

India and Switzerland had a few years ago arrived at an understanding as a result of which starting 2019, India would receive on automatic basis, information in respect of financial accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland. As per what MoS External Affairs General VK Singh had said at the time, "the information received on request or on automatic basis may include information about persons allegedly involved in corruption."

This comes less than two months after the Westminster Magistrates' court ordered the extradition of Mallya to India, with Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot prima facie finding a case against him for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. The order had then gone to the UK Home office for approval. 

Mallya's potential return to India would be a crowning achievement following India's recent successes in extraditing persons connected with various scams. Christian Michel, a middleman in the Agusta Westland scam had been extradited from Dubai in December, and just last week, another Agusta-accused Rajiv Saxena and aviation-lobbyist Deepak Talwar had been deported from the same place after their passports were cancelled.

Just days after Christian Michel's extradition and shortly before his own extradition had been ordered, a clearly spooked Mallya had appeared to have lost his unruffled demeanour and had tweeted copiously offering to settle the principal amount of his considerable dues (To the tune of Rs 9,000 crore) to a SBI-led consortium of Indian Banks. He had claimed that he was being unfairly treated and and that his Kingfisher Airlines had collapsed partly on account of high aviation fuel prices. However, a number of investigative reports by Republic TV have indicated that Mallya had successfully managed to 'lobby' Indian policymakers under the UPA - despite the RBI's protests - to evergreen his defaulting loans, and also alter aviation policy squarely to benefit his own company.

EXPLOSIVE SCOOP: Secret Papers Revealing Congress' Sweet Deal To Save Vijay Mallya And Kingfisher Airlines Out

If he is brought back, a cell in Barrack 12 of Mumbai's Arthur Road jail awaits Vijay Mallya. The conditions in Indian jails had been a major argument by Mallya's attourneys - so much so, that the public prosecutor arguing for Mallya's extradition had to present a video of the jail premises for the judges to review.