India seeking deportation of tycoon Vijay Mallya from London

Indian investigators have asked the External Affairs Ministry to request the deportation from Britain of a flamboyant Indian businessman accused of fleeing to London in March while owing more than a billion dollars to Indian banks.

Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said Friday that the Enforcement Directorate, which has been investigating Vijay Mallya's massive debts, asked the ministry to cancel his passport and seek his deportation after he failed to appear for questioning.

Swarup said the ministry is seeking legal opinions on whether to proceed with the requests.

The opposition Congress party has accused the government of letting Mallya leave India while being pursued by banks for debts totaling 9 billion rupees ($1.3 billion). The government denies the charge.

Mallya's debts were triggered by the failure of his Kingfisher Airlines.