Yacht Owner Denies QNB Bank’s €5M Claim

Force India Ltd. has argued that Qatar National Bank is not entitled to take control of one of its luxury yachts as it seeks to recover €5.2 million.

A Qatari-owned bank is suing the owners of a yacht known as the Force India in the English courts in an effort to recover around €5.2 million.

Embattled tycoon Vijay Mallya said before he will comply fully with court enforcement officers seeking to seize his British assets, but there was not much for them to take as his family’s lavish residences were not in his name.

Last July during the British Formula One Grand Prix, where Vijay Mallya is principal and coowner of the Force India team, Mallya said he would hand over British assets held in his name.

But a luxury country residence belonged to his children and a house in London belonged to his mother, making them untouchable.

“I have given the UK court on affidavit a statement of my UK assets. Which, pursuant to the freezing order, they are entitled to take and hand over to the banks,” he said.

“There’s a few cars, a few items of jewelry and I said ‘OK, fine. You don’t have to bother to come to my house to seize them. I’ll physically hand them over. Tell me the time, date and place.’”

“There’s no question of being homeless because at the end of the day, they are entitled to take my assets in my name declared on oath to the court. They can’t go one step beyond,” he said.

Mallya said a super-yacht he used for entertaining at races in Monaco and Abu Dhabi, which was recently sold at auction in Malta after a dispute over unpaid crew wages, was not his problem either.

“I have not owned the Indian Empress boat for more than seven years now,” he said.

It had belonged to “a Middle Eastern gentleman”, whose name he would not disclose, in a deal that gave Mallya use of it for one month a year, he said.

Mallya has been in Britain since he left India in March 2016, unable to travel after his passport was revoked, so the annual British Grand Prix is the only race he has been able to attend since then.