Mehta urges SCO member states to work together to eliminate transnational economic crimes
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Friday urged the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to work together to eliminate the threat of transnational economic crimes by enhancing mutual trust, understanding, cooperation and communication, the Union Law Ministry said.
Mehta and additional secretary (legal affairs) in the law ministry Anju Rathi Rana led the Indian delegation at the 20th meeting of Prosecutors General of SCO member states on Friday in Astana, Kazakhstan.
In a statement, the law ministry said the 20th meeting of Prosecutors General was also attended by Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan Asylov B N, Prosecutor of the Supreme People's Procuratorate of China Zhang Jun, Prosecutor General of the Kyrgyz Republic Zulushev K T, Additional Attorney-General of Pakistan Rashdeen Nawaz Kasuri, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Krasnov I V, Prosecutor General of Tajikistan Rakhmon Yu A, Prosecutor General of Uzbekistan Yuldashev N T and SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming.
A protocol incorporating the deliberations of the meeting was signed and adopted by the SCO member states.
The protocol seeks to strengthen cooperation between the Prosecutor Generals' offices of the SCO member states with respect to the recovery of the proceeds of crime.
It also seeks to develop cooperation between the prosecutors' offices of the SCO member states at international institutions and forums on issues related to combating economic crimes, search, seizure and recovery of the proceeds of crime from states.
Addressing the event, Mehta highlighted the initiatives taken by India to address transnational economic crimes internationally by the ratification of two UN Conventions -- the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNCTOC) and its three protocols and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
At the national level, to stop the threat of transnational economic crimes, India has implemented a number of legislative measures over the years to prevent, detect, and penalise money laundering by specialised legislations, Mehta said, according to the statement.
The Solicitor General also underlined the vital role of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties for the cases where it is necessary to gather information and conduct formal investigations abroad with the help of foreign government, when the accused has fled the country after committing a crime, or when a part or the entire crime was committed outside the country.
In order to seek aid in pursuing such crimes India has signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to request assistance in investigating such crimes. ''In his concluding remarks, Mehta expressed his gratitude to all participating member states and urged them to work together to broaden the scope of the activities of the forum and eliminate the threat of transnational economic crimes by enhancing mutual trust, understanding, cooperation and communication between the member states,'' the statement said.
The next (21st) meeting of the Prosecutors General of the SCO member states will be held in China in 2023, the statement said.
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