Interpol and India

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International investigations

2022/ MHA lists rules

Rajshekhar Jha, March 23, 2022: The Times of India

New Delhi: The ministry of home affairs has issued guidelines on international investigation requests, detailing the process to be followed by law enforcement agencies seeking assistance from abroad through official communication. The guidelines are for sending court-issued ‘letter of request (LR)’ and the MHA-issued ‘mutual legal assistance (MLAT)’ requests to other countries, the Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla said during the Interpol liaison officers’ virtual conference held at the CBI headquarters. The guidelines also have templates for drafting a request letter appropriately so that they are not turned down by the recipients. Bhalla also said that the central government had given in-principle approval to the CBI Academy to join the Interpol Global Academy’s network which would make it a regional hub for providing specialised training courses for Interpol.

Red notices

Interpol on the general principles followed

Raj Shekhar, Oct 18, 2022: The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed delegations from 195 member countries comprising ministers, police and intelligence chiefs of countries and senior police officers attending the 90th Interpol General Assembly held between October 18-21.

Interpol secretary-general Jurgen Stock, who is in Delhi for the 90th General Assembly of Interpol, said that a specialised team had been formed in Singapore to help countries combat crimes involving virtual assets and develop a legal framework whilst also devising instruments to track and seize digital currencies.

Regarding reports of refusal of issue of red notices (RCN) against some high-profile individuals, Stock said that a Red Notice was not an international arrest warrant, and that Interpol cannot force any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a Red Notice.

"It is not for Interpol to judge the merit of a case or a decision taken by national courts - that is a sovereign matter. Our role is to assess if a request for a Red Notice is in line with our Constitution and Rules. This means that we cannot accept a request if it is political, military, religious or racial in character, or is not in accordance with our rules on the processing of data," Stock added.

The decision to not publish a Red Notice, Stock said, may not be welcomed by a member country but part of the power of Red Notices is in the trust of our membership that we implement the same rules when assessing any request from every country.

In recent times, Interpol is learnt to have returned around a dozen requests to issue a red notices including against individuals like controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik and pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs for Justice founding member Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, sources said.

Stock also informed on Monday that Interpol had produced it's first global crime trend report which highlights the massive increase in online child sexual exploitation and abuse figures which, he said, are only set to increase. "Our International Child Sexual Exploitation database helps investigators around the world identify an average of seven child abuse victims - every single day," he added.

The Interpol, he added, had also developed global "stop-payment mechanism" - the anti-money laundering rapid response protocol which has helped member countries recover over $60 million in cyber crime proceeds.

The general assembly - which provides an opportunity to showcase best practices in India's law enforcement system to the world - is taking place in India out of turn after a gap of about 25 years and was last held in 1997. Union home minister Amit Shah, Interpol president Ahmed Naser Al Raisi and secretary general Stock along with CBI director Subodh Jaiswal and additional director Praveen Sinha will also be attending the event.

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