An Indian Delegation led by the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Praveen Sood, is likely to raise the Khalistani extremism elements freely running anti-India agendas from foreign soils during bilateral meetings with Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia on the sidelines of the ongoing 91st General Assembly of the Interpol in Vienna, people familiar with the matter said.
Key Areas of Focus
Besides, Indian officials will also take up the issue of delays in issuing Interpol Red Notice, as well as pending requests under the mutual legal assistance treaties (MLAT), letter rogatory (LR) or judicial requests seeking information and extraditions, conveying to international police organisations, investigations into organised crimes, financial crimes, frauds, terrorism etc. are hampered due to delays.
This year’s General Assembly is being held from November 28, 2023 and will continue till December 1, 2023, marking 100 years of the formation of the Interpol and is being attended by Sood and his team. India’s representatives in the Interpol executive committee, Praveen Sinha (former Director of the CBI) and currently special secretary in the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, is also attending the event.
At the Vienna, GA, Interpol has unveiled a biometric hub, a tool for screening individuals crossing the border. Interpol released a statement on November 28, 2023, said, “A biometric hub can also be used for regular police operations within the country. Over the next two years, the tool will be used for rolled out to the border points and frontline officers across the Interpol membership. The system will be expected to perform up to one million forensics searches per day, including fingerprints, palm prints and portraits
A key crime area discussed in the event of this year is the explosive growth of transnational organised crime. The Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said in the statement that transnational organised crime is not just a concern limited to one country. It is a global issue.
A ‘Vienna declaration’ has also been launched at this year’s annual event. The declaration, according to Interpol statement, “will make clear to the world’s leaders – on behalf of their police officers – that without treating this explosion, this second pandemic, this crisis of transnational organised crime as a shared, global, national security crisis, none of our communities will be safe.”
During the 90th Interpol GA, hosted by the CBI in New Delhi, Indian agencies had bilateral meetings with at least 22 countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia, the UAE, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, New Zealand, Bhutan, Namibia, Bahrain, Serbia, Malaysia, Mongolia, as well as the European Union Police (EU-Pol) to discuss matters related to the police cooperation, enhancement of criminal intelligence sharing, geo-location of fugitives and criminals, combating terrorism, terror financing, online radicalization and coordinating efforts to prevent cybercrimes and online child sexual exploitation
Expediting the former liquor baron Vijay Mallya was in particular taken up with the UK last year. His extradition was cleared by the high court in April 2020, but the British government has been holding it for over three and a half years now due to secret proceedings of an unknown nature.
On Dark Web
“Criminal groups around the world are using the dark web and other tools to create a whole new business model – gone are the days of codes of silence amongst tight-knit groups; these criminal groups do not even know who they are working with and are making anonymous connections online.
They are outsourcing, creating partnerships, and bringing together different criminal activities. They are expanding markets globally while operating under the radar and often undetected, simultaneously undermining the rule of law and democracy in those countries,” Stock said, according to an Interpol statement.