51 absconders who fled India defrauded ₹17,900 crore: Govt

Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur was also asked about how much concessions were given or loans written off in these instances | PTI File

As many as 51 absconders, who fled the country, have defrauded a total amount of ₹17,900 crore, and all 51 extradition requests are being processed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the government informed the Parliament on Tuesday (December 3).

Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur provided these details in a written reply to a question on “fugitive economic offenders” in the Rajya Sabha.

“The CBI has reported that as on date, 51 absconders and proclaimed offenders in 66 cases are known to have left for other countries. The CBI has reported the total amount defrauded by the accused persons in these cases comes to ₹17,947.11 crore (approximately),” he said.

The union minister was also asked about how much concessions were given or loans written off in these instances.

“As reported by the department of financial services, the expected losses on stressed loans, not provided earlier under flexibility given to restructure loans, were reclassified as NPAs and provided for. Public sector banks initiated cleaning up by recognising NPAs and provided for expected losses,” the minister said.

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He added the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI had filed applications in respect of these cases in competent courts and the proceedings were either under investigation or trial. Thakur said the CBI was “processing” 51 extradition requests that were pending at various stages in respect of proclaimed offenders and absconders.

Talking about other central agencies, he said the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had reported about six fugitive economic offenders who had left the country illegally. “The ED has filed application against 10 individuals in the competent court under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018,” Thakur said.

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As regards undertaking extradition requests to bring back the accused in these cases, he said the CBIC had sent two such requests to the Ministry of External Affairs in July. “In respect of extradition requests sent by ED for eight individuals, red-corner notices have also been published by the Interpol,” the minister said.

(With inputs from agencies)