Extradition blade hanging, Mallya offers to repay 100% bank money

New Delhi: Absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in a Rs 9,000 crore bank loan default case, on Wednesday offered to pay back “100 per cent of the principal amount” as speculations over his extradition were raised after AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel was brought here for interrogation.

His move came a day after the British national and middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal was extradited to India from Dubai and handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) late on Tuesday.

Lashing out at the quick media narrative about his extradition to India, Mallya said: “I see the quick media narrative about my extradition decision. That is separate and will take its own legal course.

“The most important point is public money and I am offering to pay 100 per cent back. I humbly request the banks and government to take it. If payback refused, Why?” he said.

Late in 2017, India filed extradition proceedings against him which he has contested and pending the final verdict in the case, he is currently on bail in London. The court is set to pronounce its verdict on December 10.

“Airlines struggling financially partly because of high ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) prices. Kingfisher was a fab(ulous) airline that faced the highest ever crude prices of $140/barrel. Losses mounted and that’s where banks money went.

“I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it,” Mallya tweeted.

Kingfisher began defaulting on loans beginning 2009-10.

Hitting out at the political parties and media for accusing him of running away with the money, the head of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines said that all of the accusation was false.

“Politicians and media are constantly talking loudly about my being a defaulter who has run away with PSU (public sector undertaking) banks’ money.

“All this is false. Why don’t I get fair treatment and the same loud noise about my comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court. Sad,” he said.

On September 12, during the hearing of his case in London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Mallya told reporters that he left India after meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2016, which the minister called “factually false”.

“I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the Finance Minister before I left… repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth.”

Mallya had said he had also told Jaitley that he was leaving for London.

Mallya, who left India on March 2, 2016, also claimed that he had made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court.

The liquor barron also pointed out that for three decades by running India’s largest alcoholic beverage group, he contributed thousands of crores to the state exchequers.

“Kingfisher Airlines also contributed handsomely to the states. Sad loss of the finest Airline but still I offer to pay banks so no loss. Please take it,” he said in another tweet.

Mallya is wanted for committing alleged bank frauds of Rs 9,000 crore, and is currently holed up in the UK, fighting several cases.

On June 22, the Enforcement Directorate had moved the Special PMLA Court to declare Mallya a ‘fugitive economic offender’ and confiscate all his properties, estimated at more Rs 12,000 crore, making it the first such case of its kind under the new FEOA (Fugitive Economic Offender Act) law.