Mallya's great escape from Delhi to London with 11 bags

Mar 11, 2016

Mallya's great escape: Liquor baron who owes Indian banks Rs 9,000 crore travelled from Delhi to London with 11 bags... (and flew business class, naturally)

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, once hailed as the king of good times, made a quiet exit to London via Delhi on March 2. 
Mallya was a ‘special passenger’ on board the London-bound Jet Airways flight 9W-122 from Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport. 
Highly-placed sources told Mail Today Mallya was inside T-3’s premium lounge for nearly 60 minutes before he flew out. It is interesting to note that Mallya, chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, chose to travel in a commercial flight and not one his private jets. 

Industrialist Vijay Mallya caught a Jet Airways flight to London on 2 March. He recently expressed his intention to spend more time with his children, who are based in the UK. 
Industrialist Vijay Mallya caught a Jet Airways flight to London on 2 March. He recently expressed his intention to spend more time with his children, who are based in the UK. 

Accompanied by a woman, Mallya travelled with as many as 11 bags, which official sources said were equivalent to the luggage of seven passengers on an average. 
However, he faced no hassle in getting clearance as Jet Airways had deployed executives to assist Mallya. The business tycoon, now a defaulter of Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, was seated on 1D in business class of the aircraft. 
Sources told Mail Today there was one more passenger in the business class on that flight: Mallya’s female companion, a famous socialite whom the liquor baron has known for a long time. 
According to sources, Mallya reached Delhi airport around 12pm on March 2. He entered the airport with his female companion. 
Jet Airways staff were there to assist him and he was taken to the premium plaza lounge in T-3. 
“He was there for more than an hour. Jet Airways had deployed special staff for Mallya who attended to him. He used boarding gate number 1,” sources said. 
Sources said that when he entered Terminal-3, Mallya looked tense. As he was carrying excess luggage, the airline had deployed loaders. 
Kingfisher employees protest against liquor baron Vijay Mallya for non-payment of dues outside Kingfisher’s office in Ville Parle in Mumbai
Kingfisher employees protest against liquor baron Vijay Mallya for non-payment of dues outside Kingfisher’s office in Ville Parle in Mumbai

“At the airport, Mallya and his female companion were served coffee and snacks. A number of people including some airport staffers had queued up to meet Mallya who was clearly the centre of attraction at the lounge,” said the source. 
“Mallya tried to take a nap in the lounge, but couldn’t, probably because he was tense. He walked very slowly when he was asked to proceed for boarding,” sources said. 
When Mail Today contacted Jet Airways, the airlines officials refused to come on record. According to sources, Mallya’s tickets were booked a few hours before the flight. 
“Mallya enjoyed every facility extended to a special guest. It is uncertain whether Customs checked his extra baggage or not,” sources said. 
“Mallya decided to take a commercial flight though he owns two private jets. It could be because if he had flown in a private jet, there would have been fresh controversy,” a senior official said. 
According to sources, there was no look-out notice on Mallya from the Immigration Bureau even though it had been asked to ‘intimate’ the government if he travelled abroad. 
When Mail Today contacted Mallya’s UB group, the company did not respond to our queries. 
According to sources, in London, Mallya may stay in a house near Madame Tussauds wax museum on Baker Street. 
Mallya is being chased by almost every institution in the country - the banks, regulators and the judiciary - for Rs 9,000 crore that he owes to the lenders. 
Voices rise in House over Mallya 'escape' 
By Mail Today Bureau in New Delhi 
While the Congress made allegations of a criminal conspiracy, saying Vijay Mallya was allowed to "escape", the government hit back insisting that the loans were given to him during UPA rule and he is no saint for them. 
A war of words erupted between the government and the Opposition over the departure of Vijay Mallya in Parliament on Thursday. 
Replying to the allegations, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “There have been clear instructions that every possible action should be pursued to recover the money from Mallya, who owes Rs 9,091 crore to a consortium of banks led by SBI as of November 2015.”

As the Congress alleged that Mallya had left India despite a ‘Look Out Notice’ by the CBI, Jaitley said: “That day, there was no order of any agency to stop him (from leaving the country).” 
He said Mallya had left the country before the banks moved the Supreme Court for seizure of his passport. 
When the issue was raised in the Lok Sabha, MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said: “Mallya is no saint for us and he has not been given a single penny by the NDA Government”. 
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said it was shocking that the UB group chairman, owing some Rs 10,000 crore dues to the SBI-led consortium of banks, fled to London on March 2. He claimed that in spite of warnings by the SBI law officer, no action was taken against the businessman. 
The Congress, NCP and Left parties staged a walkout alleging that the government’s response was not satisfactory and does not answer the points raised by them. 
Mounting an attack in the Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “My allegation is that this government is party to this criminal conspiracy of allowing him to escape and leave the country. In this criminal conspiracy, this government should be made party and the Supreme Court should take note of this.” 
He claimed that without the participation and active support of this government, Mallya could not have left the country - and added that he should not be allowed to become the second Lalit Modi. 
Countering charges by Azad, Jaitley said the banks have been asked to recover every penny that is due, adding that the first banking facility was given to Mallya and his firms in September 2004 which were renewed in February 2008. 
He further said the accounts were declared non-performing assets (NPA) on April 30, 2009 and these debts were restructured and more facilites extended in December 2010. 
“In what circumstances were the loans given is an issue of investigation and the CBI is investigating. How these accounts were running, what facilities were given, the dates tell their own story,” Jaitley said, adding, "when the loans were given, how they were given... introspection will be required.”  
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