G20 summit: India presents 9-point agenda on fugitive economic offenders
Headline : G20 summit: India presents 9-point agenda on fugitive economic offenders
- Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested a nine-point agenda to tackle the menace of fugitive economic offenders and sought strong and active cooperation across G20 countries to deal with the menace of fugitive economic offenders
- The agenda was presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the second session of the G20 Summit on international trade, international financial and tax systems.
Nine point agenda suggested by India
- Strong and active cooperation across G-20 countries to deal comprehensively and efficiently with the menace fugitive economic offenders
- Cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined.
- Joint efforts to be made by G-20 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 (UNTOC), especially related to ‘International Cooperation’ should be fully and effectively implemented.
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should be called upon to assign priority and focus to establishing international cooperation that leads to timely and comprehensive exchange of information between the 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 G-20 countries, subject to their domestic law.
- 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.
- G-20 forum should consider initiating work on locating properties of economic offenders who have a tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.
- The programme for curbing the menace of fugitive economic offenders comes amid heightened efforts by India to apprehend a number of such offenders, including Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
- In June, 2018 the government had made a pitch at the G20 for a global framework to get high-profile fugitive economic offenders such as Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others to face the law at home.
What is the ‘Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’?
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental organization that designs and promotes policies and standards to combat financial crime.
- Recommendations created by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) target money laundering, terrorist financing, and other threats to the global financial system.
- The FATF was created in 1989 at the behest of the G7, and is headquartered In Paris.
About United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)
- The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument.
- It obliges the States to prevent and criminalize different corrupt practices, promote international cooperation, cooperate for the recovery of stolen assets and enhance technical assistance and information exchange.
- The Convention addresses both the public and private spheres and provides a set of comprehensive agreed-upon obligations and provisions to criminalize corruption and enhance transparency and accountability.
- It is the first global legally binding international anti-corruption instrument. And is a multilateral convention negotiated by members of the United Nations.
- UNCAC covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange.
- It includes both mandatory and non-mandatory provisions.
- The Convention’s far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem.
- The Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.
About United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC)
- The UNTOC Convention is the first comprehensive and global legally binding instrument to fight transnational organized crime.
- States that have ratified UNTOC commit themselves to taking a series of measures to prevent and control transnational organized crime, including
- the criminalising of the participation in an organized criminal group, of money laundering, related corruption and obstruction of justice and
- the adoption of frameworks for extradition, mutual legal assistance and international cooperation.
- UNTOC has 3 protocols:
- The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
- The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air
- The Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition
Note: In 2011 the Indian Government ratified both the UNCAC and UNTOC.