Mallya becomes first person to be declared ‘fugitive economic offender’

Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Saturday became the first person to be declared a ‘fugitive economic offender’ under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018 by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court in Mumbai. The court will hear the arguments on the confiscation of Mallya’s properties on February 5.

Special judge MS Azmi declared Mallya an offender under Section 12 of the Act after hearing extensive arguments from the lawyer of Mallya and the ED counsel.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed an application before the court in November, requesting to declare Mallya, who is facing charges of financial irregularities, a fugitive under the Act. “It is only to aid the agency to bring somebody back to the country to face the law here,” the ED counsel had said.

Mallya through his lawyers had told the court that he had not fled the country but had left to attend a meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland on March 4, 2016, at the World Motor Sport Council. He added that he had attended the meeting as part of the ‘ordinary course’ of his business activities, stating that the warrant in the criminal offence against him was only issued subsequently.

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