Hamburg, July 8 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his British counterpart Theresa May on the sidelines of the G20 Summit here on Saturday and sought Britain’s cooperation for the return of Indian economic offenders.
“PM @narendramodi meets UK PM @theresa_may on sidelines of #G20. Aks for UK’s cooprn for return of escaped Indian economic offenders,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted.
This is an apparent reference to liquor baron Vijay Mallya and former Indian Premier League (IPL) Chairman Lalit Modi who are in Britain with cases of financial fraud against them back in India.
Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes around Rs 9,000 crore to a consortium of 17 Indian banks. The loan default cases are being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The ED is pursuing 17 cases of alleged financial impropriety against Lalit Modi and other former office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket In India-Indian Premier League (BCCI-IPL) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The amount involved is said to be a whopping Rs 2,200 crore. Lalit Modi left India in 2010 following alleged financial irregularities in the cash-rich Indian Premier League’s 2009 season.
The Prime Minister meanwhile also held bilateral meetings with the leaders of South Korea, Italy, Norway, Argentina and Vietnam on Saturday on the sidelines of the Summit.
He extended his felicitations in person to new South Korean President Moon Jae-in for his victory in Presidential elections, according to a statement issued by the Indian External Affairs Ministry.
“Both leaders expressed their commitment to further develop the special strategic partnership between India and South Korea, particularly through participation in programmes such as Make in India, Digital India, and Start up India,” the statement said.
“The Prime Minister invited President Moon to visit India at an early date. The invitation was accepted.”
Modi’s discussions with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentolini focused on promoting bilateral relations, particularly trade and investment and people-to-people ties.
“Prime Minister Modi invited Italy’s participation in World Food India – the food processing exhibition to be held in India in November this year,” the statement said.
“The Prime Minister of Italy appreciated Indian investments in his country, including in industrial sector. The two leaders also discussed ways and means to work together for providing sustainable solutions to prevent climate change and promote development in Africa.”
Modi and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg discussed bilateral matters, especially strengthening of economic relations.
“Prime Minister Modi invited participation of Norwegian pension funds in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund,” the statement said.
Solberg invited India to participate in the Oceans’ Conference on the sidelines of UN General Assembly.
“In a gesture symbolising cooperation for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Prime Minister Solberg presented to Prime Minister Modi, at the end of the meeting, a football with SDGs inscribed on it,” the statement said.
Modi’s talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc were “extensive and fruitful”, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
In his meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Modi discussed ways of expanding India’s engagement in South America, according to Baglay.