P. S. Suryanarayana

Plan to create Anti-Corruption Academy proposed

CBI training academy willing to share expertise with agencyEvolve consenus on combating corruption: IndiaCBI's plea in Bofors case lost in Malaysian courts on technical grounds

SINGAPORE: The Interpol has, for the first time, considered widening its agenda to cover corruption as a "priority crime area." Delegates at the Interpol's 19th Asian regional conference that concluded in Jakarta on Thursday proposed inter-state "cooperation and coordination" to combat corruption. The issue will now be discussed at Interpol's Executive Committee meeting in May.

Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Vijay Shanker, told The Hindu over telephone from Jakarta on Friday that India's proactive role received "the wholehearted support of China" during the latest Interpol session.

The delegates proposed that Interpol General Secretariat study the feasibility of creating an Anti-Corruption Academy under the agency.

Mr. Vijay Shanker said India told the Interpol that it should create "consensus" on the complex issue of combating corruption. India took the line that any framework of Interpol-level cooperation "has to be [fashioned] within the ambit of the United Nations Convention" on anti-corruption matters. Several provisions of the convention could serve as the guide to inter-state exchange of information. As of now, 120 countries have signed this convention, while only 36 among them have ratified it.

As for the move for an Interpol Anti-Corruption Academy, he brought to the agency's attention that CBI's training academy, with its "state-of-the-art" facilities, could share its expertise.

Other subjects at the regional conference included "meaningful" connectivity under I-24/7, Interpol's secure global police communication system, the use of automated search system, passport security, human trafficking, the fight against terrorism and money laundering.

Bofors case

Asked whether the CBI was contemplating new initiatives following its failure to extradite Italian national Ottavio Quattrochi from Malaysia in the Bofors case, Mr. Vijay Shanker said the plea was lost in Malaysian courts on "technical" grounds.

"We believe that he [Mr. Quattrochi] is in Italy [now]. We are in constant touch with the Italian Government through Interpol and also through diplomatic channels." The CBI "is making all-out effort" to bring Mr. Quattrochi before the relevant court in New Delhi, Mr. Vijay Shanker said.