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Snippets from UK: Bank to Evict Mallya from London Home, But He's Got Another in the Neighbourhood

Vijay Mallya, who fled to the UK in March 2016, is wanted in India over money laundering and more charges. File pic/News18

Vijay Mallya, who fled to the UK in March 2016, is wanted in India over money laundering and more charges. File pic/News18

From the issue of Scotch trade that's making a splash to the steps taken by Rishi Sunak to set new rules for the cryptocurrency sector, a roundup of what's making news at this time.

Realty bites: Vijay Mallya should be out of his fancy Regents Park home soon. Over to the bailiffs now. The Swiss bank UBS won its case to evict him and to seize possession of the property to recover 20 million pounds from Mallya, which had been borrowed with the Regents Park home as surety. The loan was never repaid. But Mallya has of course his home in Hertfordshire where he mostly lives.

Scots calling the shots: The Indian government has a choice between listening to the Scotch Whisky Association and the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies over demands from the UK for India to increase quotas for import of Scotch and to cut tariffs. The Indian body has demanded that duty on Scotch should not be cut hurriedly and unfairly, in order to protect Indian companies. But clear signs have emerged that the government is listening more to Scots than to Indians over this.

Worst ‘case’ scenario: A law firm in London — with ties in Turkey — has filed a complaint to the London police seeking arrest and prosecution of the Indian home minister and Army chief over allegations of excesses in Kashmir. It has filed this complaint on the basis of “universal jurisdiction” that authorises investigations of crimes against humanity anywhere. It’s hardly likely that the police in London will try to take this further. If they do, Britain can say goodbye to all thoughts of stepping up ties with India.

Countering crypto corruption: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has made firm new moves to bring promoters of cryptocurrency within the ambit of the Financial Conduct Authority. A consultation response suggests that the promotion of cryptocurrency will be subject to the same standards as for stocks, shares, and insurance products. Sunak has said this will be done to protect people against misleading claims.

Not a good example: India would do well not to take its cue from the UK in lifting restrictions. Cases in India have been rising, and are due to peak only some weeks from now. The critical difference is that in Britain 90 per cent have had one dose, 83 per cent a second, and 63 per cent a third booster with Pfizer, reported to be far more protective than Covishield. Without such protection, and given the numbers, a very small percentage of serious cases could be disastrous. Britain is lifting restrictions, India is a long way from there.

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first published:January 22, 2022, 03:52 IST