On Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi hot pursuit, India for G20 action against fraudsters

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, March 1: With G20 presidency India is seeking to be the voice of the Global South, the developing nations, which faces the daunting challenges of the developed countries sheltering the economic fraudsters fleeing the countries where the commit financial frauds. The UK is seen to be the preferred destination of such economic fraudsters, as the likes of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi freely move around the streets of London.

India on Wednesday strongly urged upon the G20 members to adopt multilateral action for faster extradition of fugitive economic offenders. India also called for the G20 nations for collaborations to recover the assets from such fugitives. In the first anti-corruption working group meeting of G20 nations in Gurugram, India called for joint efforts for speedy recovery of assets both within the country of the crime and also abroad.

Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh presided over the G20 working group meeting on Wednesday and gave an extensive account of a number of economic fraudsters fleeing India and taking refuge in the member countries. It may be noted that India has not yet been able to extradite any of the economic fraudsters who had brought the Indian public sector banks to their knees and they were eventually bailed out by the taxpayers’ money.

Singh dwelt upon the hardships faced by a country when its economic offenders flee from the jurisdiction. “The adverse impact of such incidents on a country can be seen in several areas, which adversely affect the effective utilisation of resources. Such fraudsters also compromise the quality of life of citizens. They also harm the economic growth of the country, while also affecting overall governance. They most disproportionately affect the poor and most marginalized sections of the society,” said Singh in the meeting.

The minister also stressed that India already has in place a specialised legislation to deal with the issue of the economic fraudsters. “The Enforcement Directorate has transferred assets worth about $180 billion to public sector banks. Such banking institutions had suffered losses to the tune of around $272 billion due to the frauds committed by the high-net-worth individuals, who ran away from the country after coming the economic frauds,” added Singh.
The minister asserted the Indian position to strengthen the mechanisms for speedy confiscation of the proceeds of crime, both at home and abroad, which may force the offenders to return to their home country. The meeting also took stock of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) for combating corruption in Public Sector.

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