28 Fugitive Economic Offenders Living Outside India, Says Govt

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are pursuing legal actions against the fugitive Indians, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told the Lok Sabha.


As many as 28 Indians involved in financial irregularities with banks and other offenses are currently living abroad, according to data from the Indian government.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are pursuing legal actions against these fugitive Indians, and efforts are on to bring them back, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told the Lok Sabha on July 25.

The list provided by Singh in the parliament named 23 Indians involved in financial irregularities with the banks as well as who are under criminal investigation (who are living abroad/fled abroad) during the last three years. Among them, whose cases are being pursued by the CBI, are six women.

The ED, on the other hand, is handling cases of 13 persons. Eight persons — Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi, Jatin Mehta, Ashish Jobanputra, Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, and Diptiben Chetankumar Sandesara — are named in both the lists.

The list includes high-profile names such as business tycoons Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India over unpaid dues worth $1.3 billion to a consortium of 17 Indian banks, as well as Nirav Modi, Neeshal Modi and Mehul Choksi, who are accused in a $2.2 billion scam involving the Punjab National Bank.

Also listed is former boss of the Indian Premier League Lalit Modi who is accused in a money laundering case; Ashish Jobanputra and his wife Priti, who are wanted in a Rs 770 crore bill discounting scam involving the State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda (BoB); industrialist Pushpesh Baid, who allegedly siphoned off hundreds of crores of rupees from several banks in Kolkata using forged documents; and the brothers Umesh, Kamlesh and Nilesh Parekh, owners of Shree Ganesh Jewellers who are accused of defaulting on loans worth Rs 2,600 crore taken from several Indian banks.

The other groups of family members named in the list are the directors of Sterling Biotech — Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Diptiben Chetankumar Sandesara — over an alleged Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud case; and the directors of Chandigarh-based Surya Pharmaceuticals Limited Rajiv Goyal and Alka Goyal, who allegedly committed a Rs 157 crore fraud against the SBI.

The list also includes the names of Ritesh Jain of Auro Gold, accused of unpaid bank loans worth hundreds of crores, and Jatin Mehta of Winsome Diamonds, with alleged loan default of Rs 146 crore. The other fugitives who figure on the list are Sunny Kalra, Sanjay Kalra, Sudhir Kumar Kalra, Aarti Kalra, Varsha Kalra, Eklavya Garg, Vinay Mittal, Sabya Seth, Hitesh Narendrabhai Patel and Mayuriben Patel.

“Efforts are being made for securing the presence of these accused in the country by way of issuance of LOC (Look out circular), RCN (Red Corner Notice) and extradition requests,” Singh said.

As of March 2018, India has signed extradition treaties with 48 countries, including the United States, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. Extradition treaties have also been signed with Croatia, Italy, and Sweden, the Hindu reported.

As many as 31 businessmen from India are absconding and are under investigation by the CBI, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar earlier said in the Lok Sabha on March 14.

The preferred destinations for fugitive Indians are the United States, United Arab Emirates, Canada and the United Kingdom, according to data from the Ministry of External Affairs obtained through a Right to Information query.

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