Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Sanjay Bhandari extradition: CBI, ED and NIA probe agencies considering UK visit

A team comprising members of probe agencies CBI, the Enforcement Directorate, and the National Investigation Agency, is considering a visit to the United Kingdom to expedite the extradition of fugitive offenders Vijay Mallya of Kingfisher, diamond merchant Nirav Modi and defence dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

The authorities are mulling over the visit, but nothing concrete has been finalised, including the dates.

The high-level Indian team is expected to engage in bilateral discussions with the UK authorities under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), under which the UK and India are obligated to legally share information on criminal investigations involving financial offenders and others, new agency ANI reported.

Along with moving to speed up the extradition process, the probe agencies are also expected to obtain information about the three in London, including their financial dealing and banking transactions.

Vijay Mallya, who fled to the UK in March 2016, is wanted in India over a default of Rs 9,000 crore, which was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines by several banks.

Nirav Modi is the prime accused in the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, which is one of the biggest in India so far. He also fled India when the PNB scam came to light and a multi-agency probe was launched against him.

Sanjay Bhandari, an alleged close associate of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband, Robert Vadra, is facing charges under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act.

In August last year, the British Security Minister, Tom Tugendhat, said that the United Kingdom has no intention of becoming a place where those seeking to evade justice can hide. “We both (the UK and India) have legal processes that must be gone through. But the UK government is absolutely clear, we have no intention of becoming a place where those who are seeking to evade justice can hide,” the Minister said earlier.

Published On:

Jan 16, 2024

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