India urges Interpol members to deny safe havens to crime, criminals, and proceeds of crime

So far this year, 24 criminals and fugitives wanted by Indian agencies have been deported or extradited back to India via Interpol channels; 184 criminals geo-located in various countries

December 01, 2023 07:14 pm | Updated 07:38 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Director, CBI & Indian delegation with delegates of United States during
 91st INTERPOL General Assembly-2023 at Vienna

Director, CBI & Indian delegation with delegates of United States during 91st INTERPOL General Assembly-2023 at Vienna

A high-ranking Indian delegation to the 91st Interpol General Assembly has urged other member countries to deny safe havens to crime, criminals, and the proceeds of crime. The delegation was led by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Praveen Sood and includes National Investigation Agency (NIA) director-general Dinkar Gupta.

Their plea comes against the backdrop of Indian efforts to ensure that alleged terrorists, including pro-Khalistan elements and other wanted persons, are extradited or deported from countries such as Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

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Rising cooperation

So far this year, 24 criminals and fugitives wanted by Indian agencies have been returned from abroad through close coordination via Interpol channels, one of the highest such annual tallies. India has also geo-located over 184 criminals in various countries and initiated formal proceedings for their return.

“This reflects increased leveraging of Interpol channels and relationship with law enforcement agencies internationally to combat crime and criminals,” the CBI said on Friday.

The agency said that the five-member delegation had attended the annual Interpol General Assembly in the Austrian capital of Vienna. This year’s General Assembly also marks the 100th anniversary of Interpol and its return to the city where the international police organisation was founded.

Crackdown on organised crime

“The Indian delegation held discussions with law enforcement agencies from multiple countries for enhanced coordination via Interpol channels for a concerted action to combat organised crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, online radicalisation, cyber enabled financial crimes, and to prevent these crimes on a real-time basis,” the agency said.

The delegation pitched for coordinated strategies to crack down on criminal organisations operating across international jurisdictions. India also supported the adoption of Interpol’s Vision 2030 and the creation of the Interpol Future Council.

Detailed discussions on police cooperation were held with delegations from Austria, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S., the U.K., Nepal, Brazil, Australia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Zambia. They discussed ways to improve the sharing of information on criminals via Interpol channels, in order to expedite mutual legal assistance and extradition requests, the CBI said.

The Indian delegation also held talks with senior officials of Interpol, Europol, the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Organisation, and the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations on strengthening arrangements for cooperation.

India’s record

The CBI is the National Central Bureau for Interpol in India and coordinates all international police cooperation requirements of Indian law enforcement agencies via Interpol channels.

India, which joined Interpol in 1949, had hosted the 90th Interpol General Assembly in Delhi in October 2022. Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that General Assembly had seen record participation, with delegations from 168 countries. Significant resolutions passed at the meeting included those aimed at strengthening the collaborative response to disrupt financial crime and corruption, combating the menace of online child sexual exploitation, and promoting diversity within Interpol itself.

Interpol’s first global crime trend report was released by during the Delhi Session, when the organisation also launched its presence in the Metaverse.

“Subsequently, India has also hosted the Interpol Young Global Police Leaders programme earlier in 2023, involving participation of 44 countries. The CBI Academy joined the Interpol Global Academy Network to emerge as a global training hub for the Interpol,” it said.

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