Mallya's superyacht in Malta impounded over non-payment of $1 mn in wages: Report
About 40-strong crew which include members from multiple countries have not been credited their salary since September last year
March 08, 2018 / 12:21 PM IST
The super yacht Indian Empress, owned by fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, is seen berthed beneath Fort St Angelo in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta, December 9, 2016. Fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya said on Friday that his Twitter account had been penetrated by a hacking group called Legion, which posted links to what it alleged were details of Mallya's bank accounts, offshore investments and luxury cars. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi - RTSVEVL
Dark times for the self-proclaimed ‘king of good times’, Vijay Mallya, are far from over. Now, his luxury superyacht worth USD 93 million has been impounded by the authorities in Malta over non-payment of salary dues to the crew.
Port officials in Malta boarded 95-metre long Indian Empress on Tuesday restricting its movement from the port as part of legal actions taken by the crew, reported The Guardian.
The 40-member crew which includes people from multiple countries have not received a salary credit since September last year. Incidentally, this is when Mallya had abandoned the vessel.
Some of the senior crew members said Mallya owed them up to USD 92,000 in unpaid wages. Danny McGowan, strategic organiser of the maritime union Nautilus International said that with surmounting unpaid salary, the crew were left with no choice but to seek the help of law.
McGowan further said the members of the crew gave multiple chances to Mallya to pay the wages, though, the opportunities were largely ignored by the liquor baron.
The Isle of Man registered yacht has been impounded in a “maritime lien” which gives the crew claim over the vessel to the value of the unpaid wages.
This is, however, not the first wage dispute Mallya is facing. Employees of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines had also accused Mallya to have not paid their wages after the carrier went bankrupt.
Mallya fled the country 2016 and since been living in his USD 16 million mansion in the UK. The Indian authorities have been making efforts to extradite him to India so that he can face trial in loan fraud and money laundering cases amounting to USD 1.4 billion.
Mallya was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant in April 2017 and has been out on bail on a bond worth USD 903,500. The next hearing in the case is expected to be in April.