Interpol's most wanted Indians

Between January 2008 and September 15, 2010, Interpol issued Red Corner notices for 338 Indian nationals. A Red Corner notice allows a warrant issued by a national authority to be circulated worldwide, with the request that the wanted person be arrested with a view to extradition. Earlier, Interpol had issued 495 Red Corner notices against Indians worldwide between 2001 and 2007.

Interpol, the world's largest international police organisation, has 188 member nations. It facilitates cross-border police cooperation. Interpol statistics put India in the big league of crime-exporting nations. Out of a list of 7,858 wanted persons, 369 are Indians. That is a higher number than notices issued to persons from the United States (321), China (216), Pakistan (160), the UK (58), Canada (98), Australia (24), Saudi Arabia (27) and Japan (13).

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the "probable reason" for the high number of wanted criminals of Indian origin "could be that most of these subjects are expatriates and living in other countries temporarily for employment purposes".

The list of countries where most of these Indian nationals have committed crimes includes the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Canada and the United States.

INDIA TODAY petitioned the CBI under the Right to Information Act (RTI) for details on the most recent Red Corner notices. According to the CBI reply, of the 338 Red Corner notices issued between 2008 and 2010, only 86 were for crimes committed in India. That means only 25 per cent of the total Red Corner notices against Indians originate because of a crime in their home country. In other words, three-fourths of the crimes committed by Indians that led to Red Corner notices against them, were abroad.

The Red Corner notices against Indian nationals are issued by the General Secretariat of Interpol, Lyon, France, on the recommendation of the CBI, which also acts as the National Central Bureau (NCB) for Interpol.

"Our Interpol wing furnishes the details of all Red Corner notices to the Bureau of Immigration-under the Ministry of Home Affairs-for issuing Look Out Circulars (LoC) against such persons," says a senior CBI official. "The LoCs issued by the Bureau of Immigration are circulated to all immigration checkpoints/border posts in India."

While the premier investigating agency has information about 11 such wanted persons who were arrested in India, it does not have any information about criminals who may have been arrested abroad. Says CBI Deputy Inspector General Anurag, "No such database on the arrest of criminals of Indian origin worldwide is available. However, 11 criminals were arrested during 2010, all of whom were wanted in India and against whom Red Corner notices were issued."

Dawood Ibrahim, arguably one of India's most wanted men and the reason for much friction with Pakistan, has been the subject of a Red Corner notice for long. He is also the subject of another notice called the Interpol-United Nations Security Council Notice, issued to "individuals associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as listed by the UNSC." There are many more Indians to give him company in the red corner.

Reproduced From India Today. © 2011. LMIL. All rights reserved.