Mallya rues ‘wild-goose chase’


Vijay Mallya is adamant that the “witch hunt” against him will not negatively affect Force India.

Earlier this year an Indian court issued a warrant for the arrest of Mallya over $1.3bn in unpaid debts following the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines.

However, the Indian business, whose diplomatic passport was revoked by the authorities, has called the matter a “witch hunt.”

“I have been through this before,” he told Autosport.

“My first brush with the investigative authorities was in 1985.

“They came at me hammer and tongs for almost two years and finally found nothing, and I was completely exonerated.

“So sadly in India, these investigative agencies are political tools that do not hesitate to go on a wild-goose chase, and in the process it is nothing but persecution.

“There is no other way I can describe what is happening other than a witch hunt. I just have to ride out the storm.”

He added: “They [the Indian authorities] have had access to many executives of Kingfisher Airlines, and they have had access to thousands of documents.

“If the missing link is only to interview me, come to London and interview me, get on the radio conference and interview me, send me an email with questions and I will reply. I have nothing to hide.

“But it seems a bit contradictory and disconcerting, that just because I’m not physically present in India, that they should issue an arrest warrant and cancel my passport.

“What confidence does that give me about their real intentions?”

Mallya, though, is not the only owner of Force India in trouble with the authorities.

Sahara chief Subrata Roy has been in prison in Delhi since March 2014 for financial irregularities.

But despite their troubles, Mallya is confident it will have no impact on Force India’s own finances.

“In the last three years our sponsorship is up significantly,” he said.

“Today the gap in funding that is demanded of shareholders is almost negligible, in comparison to what it was five years ago.

“If I say the team is financially secure, and standing on its own feet, that’s the truth.”