Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in New Delhi on Wednesday that the Paris attacks were a grim reminder that terrorists had shown remarkable flexibility and adaptability in generating finances to fund their activities.
“They derive funding from a variety of criminal activities, which includes smuggling of narcotics, bank robberies, vehicle thefts, fake currency or State-sponsored activities in failed States,” said Mr. Modi addressing delegates from over 30 countries at the sixth Global Focal Point Conference on Asset Recovery.
The Prime Minister said disrupting fund flow would constrain the capabilities of terrorists and reduce their ability to execute attacks. “This involves putting in place both systemic safeguards and targeted economic sanctions based on credible counter-terrorism intelligence,” he said.
Stating that targeting proceeds of crime was an important element in the fight against crime, Mr. Modi said there was an imperative need to focus on enhancing international cooperation in the field of asset recovery for fighting crime, corruption and terrorism.
Challenge of corruption
Mr. Modi, who also inaugurated the 21st Conference of the Central Bureau of Investigation and State anti-corruption bureaux, said corruption was one of the principle challenges to governments across the world in transforming lives of the poor and the marginalised.
Globalisation of organised crime poses a major threat to economies through out the world. “It is a well-known fact that dirty money drives out good money. Organised crime can hamper investment and economic growth,” he said reinforcing India’s commitment to the fight against corruption.
Listing the anti-corruption measures taken under his leadership, the Prime Minister said a special investigation team, supervised by the Supreme Court, was set up just a day after the National Democratic Alliance government took over at the Centre.
The Black Money Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets and Imposition of Tax Act, providing stringent penalties and prosecution of offenders, was enacted. “We have also introduced a provision under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for restitution of assets. This will enable millions of poor investors who have lost money in ponzi schemes to recover a part of their hard earned money,” he added.
Mr. Modi said the government had signed agreements with various countries, including the United States, to facilitate real-time information sharing on black money stashed away abroad. Measures were also taken to bring transparency in allocation of natural resources like coal blocks and FM radio licences. These measures restored the faith of the citizens in the government and also generated substantial revenue, which would benefit people, he said, adding that the government was unsparing when it came to punishing the corrupt. In all, 45 officials were penalised, Mr. Modi.