G20: India presents 9-point agenda on fugitive offenders

G20: India presents 9-point agenda on fugitive offenders

India on Friday presented a ninepoint agenda to G20 countries, calling for strong and active cooperation among them to comprehensively deal with...

Buenos Aires: India on Friday presented a nine-point agenda to G20 countries, calling for “strong and active cooperation” among them to comprehensively deal with fugitive economic offenders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the agenda in the second session of the G20 Summit on international trade, international financial and tax systems. “Cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined,” the agenda read.

India also called for joint efforts by G20 countries to form a mechanism that denies entry and safe havens to fugitive economic offenders. “Principles of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNOTC), especially related to ‘International Cooperation’ should be fully and effectively implemented,” it said.

India suggested that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should be called upon to assign priority and focus on establishing international cooperation, leading to timely and comprehensive exchange of information between competent authorities and financial intelligence units.

FATF should be tasked to formulate a standard definition of fugitive economic offenders. FATF should also develop a set of commonly agreed and standardized procedures related to identification, extradition and judicial proceedings for dealing with fugitive economic offenders to provide guidance and assistance to G20 countries, subject to their domestic law,” it said.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. India also advocated setting up of a common platform for sharing experiences and best practices, including successful cases of extradition, gaps in existing systems of extradition and legal assistance, among others.

The agenda said the G-20 forum should consider initiating work on locating properties of economic offenders with tax debts in the countries of their residence for recovery.

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