In Vienna, India to raise Khalistani issue at Interpol’s centenary anniversary
This year’s general assembly is being held from November 28 to December 1, marking 100 years of Interpol’s formation, and is being attended by a team led by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Praveen Sood
A delegation led by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Praveen Sood is likely to raise the issue of pro-Khalistani elements freely running anti-India agendas from foreign soils, during bilateral meetings with Canada, the UK, the US and Australia on the sidelines of ongoing 91st general assembly of Interpol in Vienna, people familiar with the development said on Wednesday.
Besides, Indian officials will also take up the issue of delay in issuing Interpol red notices, as well as, pending requests under mutual legal assistance treaties (MLAT), letter rogatories (LRs) or judicial requests seeking information, and extraditions, conveying to the international police organizations that investigations in organised crimes, financial frauds, terrorism etc., are hampered due to delays.
This year’s general assembly is being held from November 28 to December 1, marking 100 years of Interpol’s formation, and is being attended by a team led by Sood. India’s representative in the Interpol executive committee, Praveen Sinha (former CBI special director; currently special secretary in the office of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, is also attending the event.
During the 90th Interpol GA, hosted by CBI in New Delhi, Indian agencies had bilateral meetings with at least 22 countries including the US, the UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia, the UAE, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, New Zealand, Bhutan, Namibia, Bahrain, Serbia, Malaysia and Mongolia as well as Europol to discuss matters related to police cooperation; for enhancement of criminal intelligence sharing; geo-location of fugitives and criminals; combating terrorism, terror financing and online radicalization; coordinating efforts to prevent cybercrimes and online child sexual exploitation.
Expediting the extradition of former liquor baron Vijay Mallya was in particular taken up with the UK last year. Mallya’s extradition was cleared by the UK high court in April 2020, but the British government has been holding it for over three and a half years now due to “secret proceedings” of an unknown nature.
At the Vienna GA, Interpol has unveiled a biometric hub, a tool for screening individuals crossing a border. A statement issued by Interpol on Wednesday said “Biometric Hub can also be used for regular police operations within a country. Over the next two years, the tool will be progressively rolled out to border points and frontline officers across Interpol’s membership. The system is expected to perform up to 1 million forensic searches per day, including fingerprints, palm prints and portraits.”
A key crime area being discussed in this year’s event is the explosive growth of transnational organised crime.
Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said in a statement that transnational organised crime is not just a concern for any specific community or country, but globally.
A ‘Vienna declaration’ has also been launched at this year’s annual event. The declaration, according to Interpol statement, “will make clear to the world’s leaders – on behalf of their police officers – that without treating this explosion, this second pandemic, this crisis of transnational organized crime as a shared, global national security crisis, none of our communities will be safe.”
“Criminal groups around the world are using the dark web and other tools to create a whole new business model – gone are the days of codes of silence amongst tight-knit groups; these criminal groups do not even know who they are working with and are making anonymous connections online. They are outsourcing, creating partnerships, and bringing together different criminal activities. They are expanding markets globally while operating under the radar and often undetected, simultaneously undermining the rule of law and democracy in those countries,” Stock said, according to an Interpol statement.
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