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Arrest warrant issued for Force India chief Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya, Force India, 2012Force India's billionaire team owner Vijay Mallya has had an arrest warrant issued against him by the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, according to reports in the Indian press and AFP news agency.

The warrant, which is non-bailable, relates to bounced cheques Mallya's Kingfisher airline issued to the operator of Hyderabad International Airport.

The cheques, for a reported $2million, were meant to settle user fees at the airport.

"The cases were listed today for the airline to appear in the court," a spokesman for the complainant is quoted as saying by AFP.

"Since they failed to appear before the magistrate, the court has ordered issuance of NBW (non-bailable warrants) against Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), Vijay Mallya and four other KFA officials."

The arrest warrant is the latest in a string of financial setbacks for Kingfisher, which is reported to have debts in the billions.

The airline has failed to generate a profit since its launch in 2005. It has grounded its fleet for the past two weeks.

AFP added that Hyderabad police chief Anurag Sharma had not yet received the warrant.

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Mallya arrest warrant withdrawn