I love it. These little mental visuals we paint in the media of how the government will get Vijay Mallya back to India…writes Bikram Vohra
The stories conjure up images of Sushma sending an email to David saying, “Hey can you send that guy back on a plane?” Then, we cut to the scene where Mallya is in an economy seat on Air India book-ended by two burly IB guys, and the media is waiting for its feeding frenzy at IGI airport. The frenetic pace of the deportation request and the extradition demand is hilarious like it was tomorrow night’s flight.
I read one headline which said “India to push hard for extradition.” We can push hard, push softly, get the whole tug o’ war team, and nothing is going to happen.
Tomorrow night, Vijay Mallya is probably going to see a play at the Westend.
And in 2017, 2018, 2019 ad infinitum. Think of it. No Indian has been couriered back to India from Britain since the extradition treaty was signed in 1993, so that gives you a damn good idea how effective it is.
Again, it has nothing to do with the British government. It is a legal process and has eight to ten major steps that could take years.
And we haven’t even got to first base with Lalit Modi, not to mention the likes of alleged pedophile Raymond Varley and Ravi Shankaran who disclosed secret naval information. There is also Tiger Hanif who is a suspect in the 1993 Gujarat blasts.
Thing is that even as we fling these clods of untruths at the public and give the impression of desperate attempts we don’t let on that even if the British Supreme Court okays the departure the individual can appeal European Commission for Human Rights and that is another ball of wool, like back to the starting line. Exactly what Tiger plans to do.
Ironically, in the case of Win Chadha of the Bofors case, the man wanted to come back but every step taken was to ensure that he didn’t.There is also this not so impossible theory that gets bandied about that we do not really want these fellows back. They might open have a tin opener for several cans of worms and it is better to create a froth of excitement knowing no one is really coming back to generate high nuisance value and project this picture of eager beavers doing their job bathed in righteousness.
Between letters rogatory (request from the court of one country to another for aid) and Interpol Red Alert notices the smoke and mirror game continues unabated. No wonder someone like Subrata Roy must be wondering what the heck I could have been in Kensington or shopping in Bond Street…why did I stay home that night.
That’s the odd part. First we let them go, catch a commercial flight and then we scream and holler to get them back.
In the case of Vijay Mallya you could have laid bets that he would scarper. Yet he was able to take an Indian carrier and zoom off.
As the government tries to sell this effort to bring him back there are at least half a dozen choices for him to buy another passport. Probably several.
A Paraguay passport is about $4000 like what Vijay spends on ties. St Kitts and Nevis give you one if you invest around a quarter million dollars. Think Mallya has enough pocket change to invest in the whole economy.
Dominica has over 4000 ‘investor-citizens’ and being a Commonwealth country allows you to travel in the EU.
Pina Coladas and sunbathed bodies in Antigua and Barbuda come for a contribution of over $250,000 to a local charity. Good deeds by good fellas and they are gone for good. For half a million you get the EB5 visa that is as good as being a citizen.
Belize is another happy option. Home delivered.
If you have a more European bent of mind Malta and Cyprus offer passports without residency and we haven’t even gone down to South America.
So let’s just cut to the chase. These guys aren’t coming back. And the money spent hiring lawyers, sending deputations, dispatching investigators is all really a jamboree and a jaunt with absolutely no possibility of anyone coming home. Save the money, it is waste of time.
In a few days like we forgot Lalit Modi we will forget Vijay Mallya and he can cheerfully order another funny coloured drink with an umbrella sticking out of the top of the glass.
He won’t even be singing, Watcha gonna do when they come for you, because no one is coming.