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Diplomacy blues for fugitives: How India is ensuring extraditions of high value targets


New Delhi, Feb 01: The past couple of weeks have seen several fugitives being extradited from India. With more expected to take place in the next couple of weeks, let us take a look at what has worked for India, when it comes to extraditing these high profile offenders.

James Christian Michel

In the past five years till date there have been 22 extraditions that have taken place. The high profile extraditions and deportations include that of Chhota Rajan, Jagtar Singh Tara Abdul Wahid Siddibapa, Wily Naruenartwanich, James Christian Michel among others.

There are various reasons why the number of extraditions and decorations have gone up.

AgustaWestland: The importance of Rajeev Saxena and how he will help crack the money trail

The Indian agencies have been persistent in their demand and coupled with diplomacy, they have managed to put up a very strong case before the countries they have been dealing with.

Extraditions and deportations have not been restricted to the UAE alone, which has in recent times extradited a large number of fugitives. Extraditions have taken place from Australia, Thailand, Morocco, Bangladesh, Singapore, Nicaragua, Canada, Indonesia and Bahrain.

India has had a lot of success in ensuring extraditions of high profile personalities from the UAE in particular. James Christian Michel, Rajeev Saxena and Deepak Talwar were the latest to be extradited. While Michel and Saxena are accused in the AgustaWestland case, Talwar is accused of other economic offences.

In the past five years, there have been six others who have been extradited or deported from the UAE in connection with cases of murder and terrorism. Highly placed sources tell OneIndia that there are two factors that have worked. One is the cases that were filed and presented were water-tight. This leaves any country with very little scope to reject a demand made by India.

The other factor is that the UAE does not want unwanted elements on its soil and this made the process easy. This has also been coupled with diplomacy and constant interactions between India and the countries from where the extradition has been sought.

Officials say that the cases have been pursued very seriously. It is important that once is a target is being pursued, there should be no lag in the operation. Once the case papers are in place and the diplomacy set in motion, it is important that the case is pursued.

More importantly it is important to keep the information confidential so that target does not escape, officials explained.

In all the extradition carried out in the past couple of years, India has relentlessly pursued the target with the help of the foreign authorities. However the most important aspect has been the case papers which have been water-tight in nature.

More in the pipeline:

India could expect some more extraditions in the days to come. On Thursday, there was news that the Senegal police had arrested underworld don, Ravi Pujari. He is set to be extradited to India soon.

Sources say that the officials are in talks with their counterparts and Pujari will soon be brought to India on a special flight.

How a visit to a wedding led to the location of underworld don Ravi Pujari

In addition to this, there are efforts on to bring back both Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi, accused in the PNB scam. The other fugitive that India is looking to bring back is Jatin Mehta.

It may be recalled that Mehul Choksi and Winsome Diamonds promoter Jatin Mehta have taken citizenship in these parts. The duo had availed the controversial paid citizenship programme provided by the Islands in the Carribbean.

Mehta had become a citizen of St Kitts a few years back, while Choksi had taken citizenship of Antigua and Barbados recently. These islands provide visa free travel to 132 countries.

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