Indian government wants to bring me back to win votes: Vijay Mallya: Vijay Mallya, the Indian tycoon, said on Sunday he will comply fully with court enforcement officers which will seek to seize his British assets, but there was not much for them to take as his family’s lavish residences is not mentioned in his name.
India wants to transfer the 62-year-old former liquor baron from Britain to face charges of fraud because a cluster of the Indian banks seeks to recover more than $1 billion of loans granted to his obsolete and invalid Kingfisher Airlines.
A verdict is expected by early September; with July 31 the final date for closing oral submissions and appeals is all set to take place anyway.
Speaking to Reuters at the British Formula One Grand Prix, where he is principal and co-owner of the Force India team, Mallya said he would hand over British assets held in his name.
But a luxury nation residence belonged to his children and a house in London belonged to his mother, should be untouchable.
“I have given the UK court on affidavit a statement of my UK assets. Which, pursuant to the freezing order, they are entitled to take and hand over to the banks,” he said. “There’s a few cars, a few items of jewelry and I said ‘OK, fine. You don’t have to bother to come to my house to seize them. I’ll physically hand them over. Tell me the time, date and place.’”
“There’s no question of being homeless because at the end of the day, they are entitled to take my assets in my name declared on oath to the court. They can’t go one step beyond,” he said.
‘FUGITIVE ECONOMIC OFFENDER’
Mallya said a super-yacht he used for entertaining at races in Monaco and Abu Dhabi, which he already recently sold at auction in Malta post a dispute over unpaid crew wages, was not his problem moreover.
“I have not owned the Indian Empress boat for more than seven years now,” he said. It had belonged to “a Middle Eastern gentleman”, whose name he would not disclose, in a deal that gave Mallya use of it for one month a year, he said.
Mallya has been in Britain after he left India in March 2016, unable to travel post his passport was revoked, so the annual British Grand Prix is the only race he has been able to attend now since then.
The Indian government’s Enforcement Directorate, which fights financial crimes, is all set to announce him as a “fugitive economic offender” and to confiscate Rs 12,500 crore worth of his assets.
Mallya has refused to accept the charges, condemn and consider it as a “political witchhunt” and has said he is seeking to sell assets worth about Rs 13,900 crore so that he can to repay creditors.
“I think the overriding consideration that everybody seems to be missing is that I have put $2 billion worth of assets in front of the Karnataka high court which is more than sufficient to repay the banks and indeed everybody else,” he said.
“So the question of attaching assets either in the UK or whatever should not arise.”
Mallya frequent current and recent complaints on Twitter said that the Indian criminal enforcement agencies had frozen assets in India so he is now unable to sell them, while banks continued to tot up interest also.
He also told that the enforcement directorate had also attached assets which he inherited from his father, which is consists of the properties acquired in the 1920s, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
“How can those be proceeds of crime? This is the injustice that is happening,” he told.
The former billionaire, at one time, dubbed the ‘King of Good Times’ and a former member of the Rajya Sabha bridled at being branded a ‘fugitive’.
“I was always a resident of England and a non-resident of India. So where else do I come back to? So where’s the running away concept? It’s just become too political,” he said.
“And now in an (Indian) election year, I guess what they want to do is bring me back and hang me on the holy cross and hope to get more votes.”