NEW DELHI: Investigating agencies in India are on the lookout for more than 300 wanted criminals who are on the run and are likely to have fled India after committing a crime here over the last few years. The agencies are taking the help of the Interpol to trace the countries where these criminals are hiding in a bid to get them extradited to India to face prosecution.

The Interpol has listed over 316 Red Corner notices on its website with the names and details of these criminals to help countries trace these individuals and initiate an extradition process.

Red Corner notices are issued by the Interpol after receiving requests from the investigating agencies about individuals who have fled the country where they had committed the crime. A Red Corner notice is a request to law enforcement agencies worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person, pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.

The maximum number of persons on Red Corner notices and wanted by India are those who have engaged in terrorist activities in India, including many from pro-Khalistani background and some Northeast insurgents.

Apart from this, many who have been involved in smuggling of drugs and fake currency into India, are also on the Interpol list.

Among the well-known fugitives and criminals who have been on the Red Corner list for decades is Dawood Ibrahim. According to Interpol details, Dawood Ibrahim is wanted in India for criminal conspiracy, using of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes as genuine, possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes, cheating, criminal conspiracy and organised crime syndicate.

Other names are of terrorist and chief of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Chhota Shakeel and Iqbal Mirchi who passed away in December 2013.

The list of economic offenders on the run has been increasing over the past few years. Ministry of Finance had reported to the Rajya Sabha in December 2019 that over the last few years, 67 economic offenders had fled India, fearing prosecution. These economic fraudsters defrauded the Indian banks and other economic institutions to the tune of Rs 17,947.11 crore.

Among these 67 fugitive economic offenders, six cases are being investigated and reported by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC), while 10 cases have been reported by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) and 51 by the CBI.

Some of the high-profile economic fraudsters who have been put on the Red Corner list by the Interpol include Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and the wife of Nirav Modi, Purvi Modi.

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