World | Asia

April 25, 2016

India Revokes Passport Of 'Panama Papers' Man Vijay Mallya

India’s government wants him extradited from his long-time home in London, but former billionaire and Panama Paperman Vijay Mallya is too busy living the high live in the U.K. and reportedly spending the billions he owns state banks on brand named New York city real estate.

Once again, London and New York prove to be the favorite stomping ground for money laundering and foreign millionaires looking to protect assets from the courts. India revoked Mallya’s passport on Sunday after temporarily banning him from traveling with his passport on April 15. Mallya had been staying in India on business but left on March 2, just days before a court put out a warrant for his arrest. He has been in the U.K. since. India’s government sought deportation on Saturday, but there has not been any word yet on the U.K.s response.

The 60-year-old lives in a $13 million, three-story mansion named Ladywalk in the village of Tewin-in-Hertfordshire, just over a one-hour drive north of London.

The businessman is wanted for defaulting on billions of dollars in loans for his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Staff went unpaid for years. Mallya does not live in India year round, but is considered a resident of India. He hasn’t been running any of his multi billion dollar businesses for about a year now and even stepped down as chairman of his only remaining trophy asset, the Bangalore Royal Challengers cricket team.

Most of Mallya’s fortune comes from United Breweries , one of the largest spirits companies in the world. But his billionaire adventures into the airline industry hurt his reputation. The recent release of the Panama Papers, which cited one account of his in the Caribbean, made him the most despised businessman in India. Indians wonder how Mallya can live with himself holding all that money overseas, yet can’t seem to afford to pay his workers.

Indian tax authorities seized his private jet, an Airbus 319, on Friday.

Mallya has refused three times to appear before the Enforcement Directorate, a law enforcement agency tackling financial crimes. The agency is seeking an Interpol arrest warrant against Mallya based on a non-bailable warrant issued last week by a Mumbai court in a money laundering case.

Meanwhile, Mallya has reportedly spent some of his missing millions on a luxury penthouse at Trump Plaza in New York, The Economic Times of India reported this weekend. Trump International Realty was not available for immediate comment.

Text by Forbes
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