Assets worth over $1.8 billion recovered under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act in four years: Union Minister Jitendra Singh


September 07, 2023 09:47 pm | Updated September 08, 2023 01:31 am IST – NEW DELHI

Union MoS Jitendra Singh says assets worth more than $12 billon had been attached since 2014 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Union MoS Jitendra Singh says assets worth more than $12 billon had been attached since 2014 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday said assets worth more than $12 billion had been attached since 2014 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), while in the past about four years, assets worth over $1.8 billion had been recovered under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA).

In his inaugural address at the first-ever International Day of Police Cooperation, after conferring police medals to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials at an investiture ceremony at the agency headquarters, Dr. Singh said the FEOA was brought in by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government.

He said there has also been a steep jump in the extradition of criminals and fugitives in recent years particularly after the country hosted the 90th Interpol General Assembly in October 2022. During the UPA period (2005-2013), on average around four criminals or fugitives returned to India, while the number jumped to 10 after the BJP came to power in 2014, said the Union Minister. This year 19 criminals or fugitives have returned, whereas 27 came back in 2022 and 18 in 2021.

Speaking about the enactment of the FEOA in 2018, Dr. Singh said the Modi government was aggressively pursuing economic offenders. He said it was a unique coincidence that the G-20 Summit was happening on Friday and that the Ministry of Personnel had already deliberated the Anti-Corruption Working Group Meets in Gurugram, Rishikesh and Kolkata.

There was a forward movement in three priority areas, namely law enforcement cooperation via information sharing, strengthening asset recovery mechanisms, and enhancing the integrity and effectiveness of anti-corruption authorities, he said.

Dr. Singh said the Prime Minister had presented a nine-point agenda for action against fugitive economic offenders and asset recovery at the G-20 Summit in 2018 and expressed happiness that decisive steps were being taken by the working group.

The Minister noted that the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 2022, had adopted a historic resolution to designate September 7 as the International Day of Police Cooperation, to be observed starting in 2023. It coincides with the date when the Interpol’s predecessor – the International Criminal Police Commission – was created in 1923.

Dr. Singh, who presented police medals to 35 CBI officials for distinguished and meritorious service, said the CBI has emerged as India’s premier investigation and anti-corruption organisation. It has not only gained the trust of the public but also kept pace with the fast-changing socio-economic and technical milieu by establishing specialised units to handle investigations about online child sexual abuse and exploitation, trafficking in human beings, drugs, wildlife, cultural properties, and crimes in digital space.

CBI Director Praveen Sood underlined the importance of international police cooperation stating that the CBI as the National Central Bureau for Interpol played an important role in facilitating the resolution of complex investigation cases, availability of evidence from abroad, and extradition or deportation of criminals/fugitives.

He said two important sessions on “Leveraging Interpol’s Operation Capabilities” & “Utilisation of MHA Portal for International Mutual Legal Assistance” were being held as part of the 9th Interpol Liaison Officers Conference on the occasion of International Day of Police Cooperation.


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