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Fugitive Mallya Puts Guests in Trouble

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Vijay Mallya

King of Good Times is Giving a Tough Time for London Elite. Mr Vijay Mallya, wanted in a money laundering case and declared a proclaimed offender, annoyed the guests at a literary event in London….reports Asian Lite News

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya, wanted in many cases including money laundering in India, embarrassed the organisers of a literary function in London by appearing along with the dignitaries.

This was the second issue related to the former liquor baron. A video of him watching the Indian Premier League final gone viral. In the footage Mr Mallya  is seen having a gala time with his son Siddharth along with a few others.

The presence of a fugitive among the audience prompted Indian High Commissioner Navtej Singh Sarna and some other invited guests to leave the venue immediately.

The London School of Economics (LSE) organised the event to release the book, “Mantras for Success: India’s Greatest CEOs Tell You How to Win” by author Suhel Seth and journalist Sunny Sen. Sarna was invited to participate in the discussion about the book.

The External Affairs Ministry in a statement clarified that Mr Sarna left the event immediately after seeing the fugitive liquor baron among the audience.

“The list of invitations for the event was determined by LSE. They have written to the High Commissioner that Mallya was not on their list,” the statement added.

The statement said the LSE had widely advertised the event through social media and its attendees were not required to register in advance.

Indian Envoy Navtej Singh Sarna with Jo Johnson and Suhel Seth at the book launch
Indian Envoy Navtej Singh Sarna with Jo Johnson and Suhel Seth at the book launch

“When the high commissioner (Sarna) spotted Mallya in the audience he left the stage and venue immediately after making his comments and without waiting for the interactive session,” the statement said.

It said that there were two events on the day — the book launch by UK Minister of State for Universities and Science Jo Johnson and later a reception at the High Commission for select guests. The book launch event was organised by the 100 Foot Journey Club — a collaboration between the Indian High Commission and LSE.

“Mallya was certainly not an invitee to the reception at the High Commission…and was not present,” the statement said.

Seth, one of the authors of the book, in a series of tweets insisted that that it was an “open event”. “No specific invitations (were given). Anyone could attend,” Seth said, denying that Mallya was among those invited.

But the presence of Mallya at the book launch sparked off political controversy amid frenzied social media reactions.

The Congress slammed the government for allegedly soft-peddling the probe against Mallya who fled India with more than Rs 9,000 crore of outstanding dues to 18 Indian banks. A non-bailable arrest warrant has been issued against the business tycoon known for his flamboyant lifestyle.