Gulf News

Mallya of­fers to re­pay 100% of ‘pub­lic money’

Busi­ness­man stressed that ex­tra­di­tion is­sue was a sep­a­rate mat­ter

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Fugi­tive liquor baron Vi­jay Mallya yes­ter­day took to so­cial me­dia with an of­fer to pay back 100 per cent of “pub­lic money” to var­i­ous In­dian banks and urged the govern­ment to ac­cept his of­fer, days ahead of a United King­dom court’s de­ci­sion on his plea not to ex­tra­dite him to In­dia.

The 62-year-old for­mer King­fisher Air­lines boss, who has been on bail in the UK on an ex­tra­di­tion war­rant since his ar­rest in April last year, is fight­ing ex­tra­di­tion to In­dia on charges of fraud and money laun­der­ing al­legedly amount­ing to around Rs90 bil­lion (Dh4.6 bil­lion).

A rul­ing in the case is ex­pected at West­min­ster Mag­is­trates’ Court in Lon­don on De­cem­ber 10, but the busi­ness­man stressed that the ex­tra­di­tion is­sue was a “sep­a­rate” mat­ter that 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 ques­tioned in one of his tweets.

Re­fer­ring to re­ports claim­ing his of­fer is linked to an ex­pected rul­ing in the ex­tra­di­tion case on De­cem­ber 10, he added: “Usual non­sense! I have made set­tle­ment of­fers since 2016.”

Af­ter weeks of si­lence, Mallya shot off a se­ries of tweets since the early hours of yes­ter­day.

“Air­lines strug­gling fi­nan­cially partly be­cause of high ATF prices. King­fisher was a fab air­line that faced the high­est ever crude prices of USD 140/ bar­rel,” read one of his posts..

“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,” the post read.

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