Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Vijay Mallya becomes first fugitive economic offender

Vijay Mallya becomes first fugitive economic offender

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court was hearing an application by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking to declare Mallya - who is in the United Kingdom - a fugitive and to allow his properties to be confiscated and brought under the control of the Union government as per the provisions of the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, (FEO Act). "Vijay Mallya is declared a fugitive economic offender under section 12 (i) of the FEO Act", said judge Azmi.

"The court verdict is a not the last one but a beginning that signifies that more offenders, who took money from the country and fled, will be caught", he added.

The Act, Mallya had said, was "draconian", and against constitutional safeguards.

"This is the difference between the previous government and us that they gave him extraordinary help, but in our regime we declared him an offender and a fugitive". Spokesperson Sambit Patra said the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act was brought in by the government to ensure that absconders are brought to justice.

On November 22 past year, the United Kingdom High Court issued an order asking Mallya to pay a hefty amount of GBP 88,000 to UBS Investment Bank, which had issued GBP 20.4 million in the mortgage loan for his London property, and ruled in favour of UBS to take possession of Mallya's palatial Cornwall Terrace home.

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The Congress criticised the BJP for taking credit for the action against Mallya, PTI reported.

September 1, 2014: UBI declares Mallya and the three directors of KFA as willful defaulters. In fact, a certain BJP minister recently even said that Mallya was not a fugitive and had not committed any fraud.

Mallya's lawyers contended that as he had surrendered before a magistrate's court in London (during the hearing on his extradition case) and obtained bail, he could not be called a fugitive.

Several non bailable warrants were issued against Mr. Mallya, who was declared a "proclaimed offender" and an "absconder" by the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court.

Mallya had claimed during arguments on the ED plea that on the day he left the country, no criminal proceedings were initiated against him, and that the proceedings were being "abused by the Government of India to pursue a political vendetta" against him.

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