CBI team reaches London ahead of hearing on Vijay Mallya's extradition in UK court

Noose appears to tighten on Vijay Mallya as a team led by CBI deputy director Rakesh Asthana has reached London to pursue his extradition case.

Top Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials, including deputy director Rakesh Asthana have reached London to pursue Vijay Mallya extradition case.

Asthana is leading a team of officials from the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) which would hold talks with the British prosecutors pursing the extradition of Vijay Mallya, who owes a consortium of 17 Indian banks over Rs 9,000 crore.

Sources told India Today that while the investigating agencies are coordinating with their counterparts in the UK, the liquor baron's extradition will also be discussed during talks between home secretaries Rajiv Mehrishi and Amber Rudd, who is scheduled to visit India later this week.

AGENCIES PLANNING TWO-FOLD STRATEGY TO BRING BACK MALLYA

Sources said that agencies are working on a two-fold strategy to counter any possible move by Mallya seeking a political plea to halt his possible extradition both in London and in Delhi.

Mallya's counsel might tell the UK courts that his is a case of political vendetta as he was an MP during the Congress-led regime. Mallya might argue that his case was rather a civil offence and not a criminal one as impressed upon by Indian investigation agencies.

The CBI and ED coordinating with each other and with the prosecutors in London. Agencies are briefing authorities at the highest level to plug loopholes that can be used by Mallya to stop his extradition.

Mallya, the boss of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, was arrested on April 18 by Scotland Yard in London upon India's request to extradite the 'international businessman' from Britain. He was released on bail few hours after arrest.

Soon after getting bail the flamboyant businessman, who once called himself 'The King of Good Times', sent out a defiant tweet.

"Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected," he tweeted.

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