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With some high profile alleged economic offenders fleeing the country in recent times, India sought international cooperation for dealing with such fugitives at the G20 summit in Argentina.

At the second session of the 13th G20 Summit on international trade, international financial and tax systems on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, presented a 9-point plan for strong and active cooperation among them to comprehensively deal with fugitive economic offenders.

Modi suggested that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should formulate a standard definition of fugitive economic offenders, focusing on establishing international cooperation that leads to a timely exchange of information among other ways to deal with economic offenders.

The nine-point agenda also suggested that FATF should develop a set of commonly agreed and standardized procedures related to identification, extradition and judicial proceedings for dealing with economic offenders which will provide assistance to G20 countries.

“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,” the agenda read.

India also called for joint efforts 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 (UNOTC), especially related to ‘International Cooperation’ should be fully and effectively implemented,” it said.

India suggested the 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,” it said.

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, etc.

It said the 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.

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