India revokes passport of tycoon who owes a billion dollars

India has revoked the passport of a flamboyant Indian businessman accused of fleeing to London in March while owing more than a billion dollars to Indian banks.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said Sunday that the decision to revoke Vijay Mallya's passport was taken considering the evidence gathered by India's Enforcement Directorate, which has been investigating the tycoon's massive debts.

The ministry was also consulting legal experts on seeking Mallya's deportation from the UK to face charges of money laundering and financial irregularities.

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.