Banks get UK court nod to sell Vijay Mallya’s yacht

London: A consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) has secured a UK High Court order as part of efforts to help them pursue some of the funds owed to them in unpaid debts by embattled Indian liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya.

In a ruling by Justice Phillips in the court’s Business and Property division on Wednesday, the 13 Indian banks were given permission to use certain information disclosed in court as part of a worldwide freezing order (WFO) against the 62-year-old businessman in an unrelated case involving the sale of a luxury superyacht believed to be previously owned by Mallya before he abandoned it last year.

The 95-metre vessel named ‘Indian Empress’ was “arrested” in Malta in March as maritime professionals’ union Nautilus made attempts to recover over USD 330,000 in unpaid wages and other costs on behalf of its members. It was successfully auctioned to Sea Beauty Yachting Limited for 35 million euros in September and renamed ‘NEOM’.

The UK High Court order dated November 28 will assist the Indian banks to pursue any surplus money from that sale in Malta courts after all the creditors have been paid off.Nautilus strategic organiser Danny McGowan said the maritime union has been collating members’ claims and other details to ensure that the sums due are paid to them.

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