18 fugitives brought back to India in five years

New Delhi


The Narendra Modi goverment has succeeded in bringing back 18 fugitive offenders, including alleged AgustaWestland deal middleman Christian Michel James, to India in the last five years and is strongly pursuing extradition cases of absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

Sources said that India has been strongly articulating the issue internationally and had presented a nine-point agenda for action against fugitive economic offenders at the G-20 Leaders' Summit held at Buenos Aires last year.

India has also pursued the agenda against fugitive economic offenders in various fora of the G20 like Finance and Sherpa Tracks, the Anti-Corruption Working Group and the Denial of Entry Experts Network. 

Here is the list of the fugitives brought to India in the last five years. 

1. AgustaWestland chopper deal co-accused Rajiv Saxena was extradited from United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the end of January this year. He was extradited alongwith corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar. 

2. British national Christian Michel James was extradited from UAE on December 4, 2018 in a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy for his alleged role as middleman in AgustraWestland case. 

3. Mohammed Yahya, who faces cases of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy, was extradited from Indonesia on October 12, 2018. 

4. Vinay Mittal, who faces cases of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy, was extradited from Indonesia on September 9, 2018.

5. Mansoor/Farooq Takla, who faces charges of involvement in terrorist activities, was extradited from UAE on March 8, 2018. 

6. Marinoiu Mohd Farooq Yasin, a Romanian national, was extradited from Nicaragua on March 3, 2018 in a bank fraud case. 

7. Abubakr Kadir Lonut Alexandru was extradited from Singapore on September 23, 2017 in job scam racket case. 

8. Abdul Raut Merchant Mohmmad Sultan was extradited from Bangladesh on November 8, 2016 on charges of murder. 

9. Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel was extradited from Britain on October 19, 2016 on charges of murder, and criminal conspiracy. 

10. Kumar Krushna Pillai was extradited from Singapore on June 27, 2016 in attempt to murder case.

11. Abdul Wahid Siddibapa was extradited from the UAE on May 20, 2016 for waging or attempt to wage war against India.

12. Willy Naruenartwanic, a Thai national, was extradited from Thailand on December 9, 2015 for waging or attempt to wage war against India.

13. Kollam Gangi Reddy was extradited from Mauritius on November 15, 2015 on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and attempt to murder. 

14. Anup Chetia was extradited from Bangladesh on November 11, 2015 for waging or attempt to wage war against India.

15. Chhota Rajan was extradited from Indonesia on November 6, 2015 on charges of murder and kidnapping.

16. Bannaje Raja was extradited from Morocco on August 14, 2015 on charges of murder.

17. Jagtar Singh Tara was extradited from Thailand on January 16, 2015 on charges of murder. 

The nine point agenda presented is below. 

The Leaders' Declaration, adopted at the G20 Buenos Aires Summit, says that the member countries will explore the links between corruption and other economic crimes and ways to tackle them, "including through cooperation on the return of persons sought for such offences and stolen assets, consistent with international obligations and domestic legal systems".

The declaration, sources said, reflects the will exhibited by the G20 members to tackle the issue of return of persons sought for economic offences and stolen assets through international cooperation. 

The nine-point agenda for economic offenders calls for strong and active cooperation across G-20 countries to deal comprehensively and efficiently with the menace of fugitive economic offenders.

It seeks cooperation in the legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and says efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined. 

The other points are: "Joint effort by G-20 countries to form a mechanism that denies entry and safe havens to all 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."

"FATF (Financial Action Task Force) should be called upon to assign priority and focus to establishing international co-operation that leads to timely and comprehensive exchange of information between the competent authorities and FIUs."

"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."

"Common platform should be set up for sharing experiences and best practices including successful cases of extradition, gaps in existing systems of extradition and legal assistance, etc."

"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."