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Countering Global Crime: Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla Inaugurates 8th INTERPOL Liaison Officers’ Conference At CBI HQ

NEW DELHI: The Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Tuesday inaugurated the one day 8th Interpol Liaison Officers’ Conference organised on a virtual platform.

The conference has been organised by CBI which is the National Central Bureau (NCB) for INTERPOL in India. The participants including Interpol Liaison Officers (ILOs) from States, Union Territories, other Law Enforcement Agencies & CBI attended the conference.

The Home Secretary in his inaugural address said that this year 8th ILOs’ conference has been organized on the relevant theme of “Tracking Crime and Criminals Globally”.

He emphasised that during the last two decades, rapid technological transformations have increased the complexity of police investigations and enhanced the need for international assistance in criminal matters. Having an effective international cooperation mechanism, Bhalla said, both through formal channels such as MLAT & LR and informal channels like INTERPOL has become very important in the present scenario.

He also underlined that combating challenges posed by transnational organised crime requires increased operational cooperation and coordination among the Law Enforcement Agencies across the world especially to track criminals, exchange of information on criminal activities and to locate the proceeds of crime.

Bhalla emphasised that Interpol Liaison Officers play a key coordinating role in the execution of Letters of Request and Mutual Legal Assistance Requests from other countries which are forwarded to them for execution.

Union Home Secretary also informed that the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued comprehensive guidelines on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. These guidelines have provided a detailed process for seeking assistance from abroad by sending Court issued Letter of Request and also the MHA issued Mutual Legal Assistance Requests.

Further, he added, these guidelines have also provided a detailed outline for examination of witnesses using the latest technical means. Templates for drafting a meaningful request has also been provided.

Bhalla further stated that the government has given in-principle approval for joining Interpol Global Academy and CBI Academy is expected to shortly join the Interpol Global Academy Network, making it a regional hub for providing various specialized training courses of INTERPOL.

CBI, Chief, Subodh Kumar Jaiswal emphasised that CBI as a premier investigative agency have substantial experience in investigating complex crimes with international linkages and is making efforts to secure foreign located evidence. “Digital evidence is getting primacy for successful investigation and prosecution of criminal offences”, he added.

Stating that there is global disbursal of crime, criminals, suspects, conspirators, abettors, witnesses and victims, the Director, CBI underlined that law enforcement agencies globally cannot work in silos or work in isolation, especially when criminal elements are escalating cooperation through use of technological platform like darknet, crypto currency and encrypted communications.

He said that the challenges posed by online radicalization, international terror network & organized crime, transnational crimes, cyber enabled financial crimes etc. require very coordinated and parallel actions to take down such networks.

“We are working very closely with international law enforcement agencies to geo locate criminals, fugitives and for their return to India”, Jaiswal added.

Director also said that CBI has been coordinating with international law enforcement agencies to target cyber-enabled financial crimes and also take substantial action to combat the menace of on-line child sexual exploitation.

“A series of global networks of child sexual exploitation have been dismantled successfully in the recent past. The Interpol channels have been used to share information for parallel action across the globe in different countries”, he said.

He also stated that we are currently heavily engaged in coordinating action on maritime crime, environmental crime, human trafficking and action on transnational organized crime. Offering assistance of CBI’s experienced officers for any requirement of State and UT police forces and Central agencies, Director CBI said, CBI as a National Central Bureau (NCB) for Interpol in India has been very proactively stepping up operational support to law enforcement agencies with regard to tracking and locating criminals overseas and sharing international inputs of crime with States.

The ILO’s conference is a platform, which brings together officers from State & UT Police Forces, Central Agencies and Central Authorities for mutual legal assistance and extradition to discuss the issue of International Police Cooperation and work towards a common goal of making the existing system more effective. The sessions in the conference included Formal & Informal Channels for Investigation Abroad; Emerging Policing Challenges & Leveraging Interpol’s Operational Capabilities; Sherloc Platform & use of UNCAC/UNTOC for International Assistance; Extradition Proceedings, Processes and Related Aspects; International Police Cooperation State/UT/LEA Wise Details; MHA Guidelines on Mutual Legal Assistance In Criminal Matters and Related Aspects and International Coordinated Action Against Crime.

ILOs’ conferences are being organised by the International Police Cooperation Unit (IPCU) of CBI since 2003. Seven Conferences have been organised so far.

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