Feb. 4 (UPI) — Britain on Monday approved the extradition of Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, who owes Indian banks an estimated $1.25 billion in unpaid loans.
British Home Secretary Sajid David signed the extradition order nearly three years after the businessman left India.
Mallya has 14 days to appeal the extradition and if there is no appeal, the extradition must occur within 28 days of the order. He said he offered to pay back the full amount owed in July.
“The anticipated appeal process starts 14 days from now. I can now appeal the Westminster magistrate’s order,” Mallya said, according to the Times of India. “I could not do so till the home secretary made a decision. After the court decision I said I would appeal and now I can.
In India, he faces charges of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering.
London’s Metropolitan Police arrested Mallya, 63, in April 2017 and released him on nearly $835,000 bail. Mallya entered Britain on a valid passport in March 2016 but India revoked it one month later and formally sought extradition on charges of financial irregularities at his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
India and Britain have had an extradition treaty since 1993. The last fugitive to be extradited from Britain to India was Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel in 2016 for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Mallya took over his father’s Kingfisher beer company in 1983 and later bought stakes in his own Formula One racing team and a cricket franchise. He founded Kingfisher Airlines in 2003 but it stopped operations in 2012 and Mallya owed the estimated $1.25 billion in unpaid loans.
In 2016, creditors asked India’s Supreme Court to require Mallya to remain in the country, but he had already departed.
In March last year, Mallya was blocked from receiving $75 million in severance pay after being ousted from United Spirits, the Indian subsidiary of British liquor giant Diageo.
Banks and creditors demanded the money should be used to settle some of Mallya’s outstanding debts they are owed.
Creditors have auctioned Mallya’s properties, including his beachfront property in Goa.
Allen Cone contributed to this report.