Bad days are surely ahead for the “most wanted” big criminals of India who have escaped the Indian law enforcement agencies and are staying in the United Kingdom. Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is on her visit to India and both the countries are increasing cooperation to fight terrorism, cyber warfare, crime, tax frauds and extradite most wanted criminals of India hiding in the UK and vice versa.
Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi handed over a list of 57 “most wanted” criminals who are staying in the UK and asked Theresa May to extradite them to India. Among them, Vijay Mallya is on the top of the list as he is facing multiple charges of money laundering, tax evasion, defaulting and not paying back loans to the banks. There is an unbailable arrest warrant issued against Mallya but he has been on run. Another big fish whose name is in the list of 57 criminals is Lalit Modi, who is also facing multiple cases of fraud and money laundering. Christian Michael, who is the main accused in Augusta Westland chopper scam and many other defense deals, is also wanted by Indian investigation agencies for multiple cases of scams and corruption. Apart from these 3, the list includes Khalistani terrorists, criminals belonging to various gangs and people charged with multiple cases of serious offences. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Enforcement Directorate have given separate lists of both Indian and British nationals wanted by India.
The India-UK joint statement on extradition said, “In this context, they ( Modi and May) directed that officials dealing with extradition matters from both sides should meet at the earliest to develop better understanding of each countries’ legal processes and requirements; share best practices, and identify the causes of delays and expedite pending requests.”
In return, the PM of UK also handed over a list of 17 criminals which are wanted by the UK and are currently residing in the UK. The cooperation between the two countries on fighting crime and terrorism is indeed growing as can be judged by the fact that in past few years, many criminals including 2002 Gujrat riots accused Sameerbhai Patel was extradited from the UK to India.