The Group of Twenty (G20) is a leading international forum comprising of 19 countries including Argentina, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, the United States, etc that discuss about the development of global policies to address various issues and challenges that are currently prevalent worldwide. Herein, the countries come together for economic, financial and political cooperation.
In the recent G-20 Summit being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 30.11.2018-01.12.2018, the world leaders gathered to wrap up the G20’s work in 2018 and further, issue a leaders’ declaration with a focus on fair and sustainable development.
India, being one of the G20 participants, has suggested the following agenda to handle the increasing cases of economic offenders who are fleeing the country to avoid criminal prosecutions and are refusing to return to face criminal prosecution:
To develop and strengthen active cooperation amongst G20 countries to handle such cases of fugitive economic offences (Offences);
To cooperate in the field of legal procedures involved in handling the cases of fugitive economic offences including freezing of the proceeds of the Offences, repatriation of such proceeds, early return of the offenders from such other country, etc.
To formulate a mechanism amongst the G20 participating countries that denies entry and creation of safe havens to the fugitive economic offenders.
To effectively implement the principles of various conventions of the United Nations (UN) including the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) for international cooperation to prevent and combat corruption, recover assets, etc, the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNOTC) for international cooperation to prevent and combat transnational organized crime.
To call upon the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body established to set standards for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, etc:
For international cooperation amongst G20 countries to ensure timely and comprehensive exchange of information between competent authorities and financial intelligence units (FIUs).
For formulation of a standard and uniform definition of fugitive economic offenders.
For guidance to G20 participants and for development of mutually agreeable and standardized procedures pertaining to identification, extradition and judicial proceedings for dealing with fugitive economic offenders.
To set up a common platform to enable the G20 participants to share their experiences and best practices in dealing with the fugitive economic offences and offenders such as success stories, challenges in the existing systems of extradition and legal assistance, etc.
To initiate work pertaining to locating properties of the fugitive economic offenders who have a tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.
The countries participating in this G20 Summit have discussed a variety of other issues and challenges prevalent today for achieving a fair and sustainable development.
Senior Legal Associate
The Indian Lawyer