06 December, 2019
Syllabus subtopic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
News: A special court Thursday declared diamantaire Nirav Modi, a “fugitive economic offender” under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 — enacted against those fleeing the country to evade the process of law. The court will now hear submissions for confiscation of his property.
Prelims and Mains focus: key features of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, PMLA, Enforcement Directorate
When Modi left India on January 1 last year, he was aware about payments that were due on January 25, 2018, to the Punjab National Bank on the Letters of Undertaking issued to his firms, and therefore he left the country in “suspicious circumstances”, the court said.
The special court, designated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, said the Enforcement Directorate had filed a plea to declare Modi a fugitive economic offender last year.
The ED had submitted Modi left the country due to his involvement in an alleged bank fraud to the tune of Rs 6,498.70 crore in connivance with the bank staff though the diamantaire claimed it was a business-related trip. The court accepted the contention that Modi left the country to avoid criminal prosecution. Modi was arrested in the United Kingdom and is currently facing extradition proceedings.
Definition: Fugitive Economic Offender
The fugitive economic offenders’ law came into force in August 2018. A person can be named an offender under this law if there is an arrest warrant against him or her for involvement in economic offences involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has fled from India to escape legal action.
Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, which enforces the following laws:
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to prevent money-laundering and to provide for confiscation of property derived from money-laundering.
Source: Indian Express
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