Study Of Victims Of Crime And Victimization Criminology Essay

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Crime is both a social and economic phenomenon. It is as old as human society. Many ancient books right from pre-historic days, and mythological stories have spoken about crimes committed by individuals be it against another individual like ordinary theft and burglary or against the nation like spying, treason etc. Kautilya's Arthashastra written around 350 BC, considered to be an authentic administrative treatise in India, discusses the various crimes, security initiatives to be taken by the rulers, possible crimes in a state etc. and also advocates punishment for the list of some stipulated offences. Different kinds of punishments have been prescribed for listed offences and the concept of restoration of loss to the victims has also been discussed in it.

Crime, we are told, is today a salient fact, an integral part of the risks we face in everyday life. In both scholarly and public opinion crime is associated with harm and violence; harm to individuals, destruc­tion of property, and the denial of respect to people and institutions. It is clear that we face pressing problems of a practical and scholarly nature in understanding crime. But we lack agreement on the most basic question, namely what is crime? This battle over definitions, of categorizing events as crimes or other things, is no tame affair. In a bid to make sense of the diversity of opinions, definitions, and per­spectives surrounding this question, this chapter will introduce some of the complex interrelationships surrounding the various ways that crime is constructed and objectified, before setting out some of the different perspectives that people actually take towards defining crime in practice

Crime operates as a core concept in modern society. It seems like a common sense category but this is only a superficial appearance. Its widespread use, moreover, makes it necessary to ask what boundaries can be placed around the use of the term 'crime'. What does its use mean for us, individually, as speakers of the word, and collectively, as social groups that use the concept? Who has the power to make their claims as to what is a crime, and by what processes do these claims stick? These questions raise issues of social power and of popular acceptance, of objectivity and relativism; is there a settled or 'objective 'way of calling things crime that is accepted across social groups and different territorial institutions or must any use of the term crime be subjective, perhaps accepted within a particular locality or group, but leading to relativism when other perspectives are taken into account? What is the role, function, and consequences of our reliance upon 'crime' (and its related concepts, such as 'punishment') as an organizing concept in social life? These are difficult issues and lead analysis onto the acts of power of the agencies.

The Meaning of Crime

If you are a typical American citizen, chances are that in your life you have committed some crime for which you could have been sent to jail or prison. In all probability, you have stolen something from a store, cheated on your income tax, or commit­ted some other punishable offense.' Similarly, as a typical American citizen, chances are that you have been the victim of crime. Your house has been burglarized, your car has been stolen, or you have been cheated by a fraudulent repairman. If you are an American citizen who is poor, chances are that you have been the victim of crime many times.2

More than 2 million burglaries, 300,000 robberies, and 15,000 murders are committed each year inthe United States.3 Hun‑dreds of millions of dollars are stolen from consumers through criminal consumer fraud. Nobody deliberately designed this pattern; nobody says that it is desirable to have this much crime. Yet, the level of crime in American society and the forms which it takes are substantially the result of political choices.4 Although the state does not desire this pattern of crime, it chooses courses of action which make such high levels of crime inevitable

In certain situations, the relationship of crime to political decisions is very direct: the extremely high homicide rate in the United States, for example, is due in part to the absence of any real control on guns. More often, though, the relationship of crime to political decisions is less obvious. A high level of "street crime" is one of the prices the society pays for creating high levels of urban poverty and systematically discriminating against certain groups of people. Broadly speaking, the pattern of crime in America is a product of the basic political choice to maintain the existing structure of wealth and power in this society.

The political nature of crime can be clarified by looking at such problems as traffic fatalities and unemployment. In the case of traffic accidents, the unwillingness of the government to impose strict safety standards on automobiles or systematically to enforce the laws against drunken driving contributes sub­stantially to the death rate on American highways. High profits from automobile sales and repairs, and the individual's "right" to drink when and where he pleases, have been considered more important than the lives lost on the roads each year. While it cannot be said that the government, the automobile manufac­turers, and the voters and consumers who support them want 50,000 people to die each year in automobile accidents, they refuse to take necessary steps to reduce the number of those deaths. This refusal is a political choice, and the ensuing fatali­ties are its consequence. The case of unemployment is even clearer. It is standard economic policy that under certain circumstances unemploy­ment should be deliberately increased in order to "cool off " the economy. Rather than deal with problems of the economy by reducing profits or by fundamentally restructuring the economy itself, the political decision is made to increase the number of people without work. Again, it is not that the govern­ment likes to see people without work, but rather that it feels it is more advantageous to increase the unemployment rate than deal with economic problems in other ways.

To say that traffic fatalities, unemployment, and crime are products of political choices does not mean that they are purely political phenomena. Individual characteristics obviously play an important role. But it is important that these individual factors always be placed in a social and political context.

The relationship between individual and social-political fac­tors is especially clear in the case of traffic accidents and unem­ployment. In any traffic accident individual explanations are always available: the driver was incompetent; there was ice on the road; the driver was depressed about his job and not paying attention. Similarly, there are always individual explanations for why a worker is unemployed: he has a bad work record; he is too lazy to look for a job; his firm lost a great deal of money and had to lay off many employees. These sorts of explanations may be useful for understanding why a particular accident oc­curred or why a particular worker is out of a job. But they are not particularly useful in understanding the rate of accidents or of unemployment. To explain the rates, it is necessary to look for factors which affect the system as a whole and influence the outcome of many individual situations. In the case of traffic accidents, issues such as the absence of good, inexpensive public transportation and the safety of cars need to be examined. In the case of unemployment, it is necessary to look at such things as the policies which influence the job market and the kinds of incentives which exist for finding new jobs.

If in the study of crime, a main concern is to explain why one particular individual commits a crime while another individual, in roughly the same social position, does not, then broad social issues may be relatively unimportant. The emphasis in such an analysis would be more on individual psychological characteris­tics, differential associations with various kinds of peer groups, and so on. Here, however, our basic interest is in explaining broad patterns of crime, and the analysis shifts to the sociopoliti­cal forces at work. Although the individual is not ignored in this analysis, the focus is on the social reality which impinges on his life, and the political forces which sustain that social reality.

CRIME IN INDIA

There were 61.8 million criminal cases reported in 1998 with a rate of 6366 per million population. 77.8% of cases investigated were chargesheeted in a court of law. There were 5.7 million cases pending in courts of which trail was completed in 15.8% of cases and of these, 37.4% cases ended in conviction. There are 41.6 police personnel per sq. kilometers and 1360 per million population. 634 police personnel were killed on duty during 1998.

In India, organized crime is at its worst in the commercial capital of India, the city of Mumbai. The first well-known organized gang to emerge was that of Varadharaj Mudaliar in the early sixties. His illegal activities included illicit liquor, gold smuggling, gambling, extortion and contract murders. Three other gangs emerged shortly thereafter namely, Haji Mastan, Yusuf Patel and Karim Lala. Haji Mastan and Yusuf Patel resorted to gold smuggling whereas Karim Lala operated in drugs. During Emergency in 1975 when there was crackdown on the Mafia, new gangs emerged. Dawood Ibrahim, the most successful, came in conflict with the Pathan gangs of Alamzeb and Amirzada which led to bitter internecine gang warfare. The Pathan gangs were liquidated to leave the field free for Dawood Ibrahim. In 1985, there was increased police pressure which made Dawood Ibrahim to flee. In March 1993, Dawood Ibrahim was behind the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in which 257 persons died and 713 were maimed. Public and private property worth several millions of rupees was destroyed. Investigation revealed transnational character of the conspiracy the objective of which was to cripple the economy, create communal divide and spread terror in the commercial capital of India. Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dosa are operating from Dubai. Their field of activity is to extort money from builders and film producers, mediate in monetary disputes, and undertake contract (Supari) killings. There have been instances of investment of the dirty money in business with the result that unsuspecting businessmen have fallen prey to the Mafia warfare. The killings of Thaquiuddin Wahid of East West Airlines in 1996, Sunil Khatau of Khatau Mills in 1994, Om Prakash Kukreja of Kukreja Builders in 1995 and Ramnath Payyade, a prominent hotelier in 1995 are grim reminders of Mafia in Mumbai.

The other gangs of Mumbai indulging in organized crime are those of Chhota Rajan (Drug Trafficking and Contract Killings), Arun Gawli (Contract Killings and Protection Money), Late Amar Naik (Protection Money) and Chhota Shakeel. State of Maharashtra has enacted Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999.Other forms of organized crime in India are kidnappings for ransom, gunrunning, illicit trafficking in women and children, money laundering etc. Organized crime exists in other cities too, though not to the same extent as in Mumbai. Ahmedabad city has been the hotbed of liquor mafia because of Prohibition policy (Banning of liquor). The Mafia became synonymous with the name of Latif who started in mid seventies as a small time bootlegger and grew up to set up a 200 strong gang after eliminating rivals with intimidation, extortion, kidnappings and murders. He won municipal elections from five different constituencies with strong political patronage. He was killed by police in an encounter in 1997.

There are several gangs operating in Delhi from neighbouring State of Uttar Pradesh indulging in kidnapping for ransom. The going rate was around Rupees 10-50 millions. Land Mafia has litical connections and indulges in land grabbing, intimidation, forcible vacation etc. Of late, the glords of Mumbai have started using Delhi as a place for hiding and transit. Chhota Rajan group is trengthening its base in Delhi.

Boom in construction activities in Bangalore city has provided fertile breeding for the underworld. Builders are

used for laundering black money. Forcible vacation of old disputed buildings is a popular side business for the underworld.The local gangsters in the State of Karnataka have connections with the underworld of Mumbai. One of the Mumbai gang operating here is the Chhota Rajan gang.

II. ILLICIT DRUG TRAFFICKING

India is geographically situated between the countries of Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent and is a transit point for narcotic drugs produced in these regions to the West. In India opium is grown under official control of Narcotics Commissioner in three states namely Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. It is exported to foreign countries for medicinal purposes. Indian opium is considered best in world. Turkey & Australia are the other licit opium growing countries in the world.A part of the licit opium enters the illicit market in different forms. Besides, there is illicit cultivation of opium in the hill tracks of some states. There is a moderately sized chemical industry producing precursor materials for lawful purposes. The illicit cultivation of opium as well as the precursor chemicals can be used for manufacture of heroin. However, there is a great price differential between India and the West. A Kilogram of Heroin that goes for a hundred thousand Rupees in India may fetch Rupees ten million in the international market. Illicit drug trade in India has centered around five major substances, namely heroin, hashish, opium, herbal cannabis and methaqualone. The Indo-Pak border has traditionally been most vulnerable to drug trafficking. Drugs trafficking through India consists of Hashish and Heroin from Pakistan, Hashish from Nepal, White Heroin from Myanmar and Heroin from Bangladesh. In the early eighties, the Border State of P u n j a b b e c a m e a f f e c t e d w i t h narcoterrorism with the smuggling of narcotic drugs and arms from across the border. This was also the time when drug Mafia emerged in Golden Crescent countries. There were a number of seizures of a mixed consignment of narcotic drugs and arms in Punjab. In 1996, 64 % of the heroin seized was from the Golden

Crescent. Although opium production is strictly under Goverment control in India, illicit poppy plantations have been reported in some places Drug addiction in India has not assumed such a serious magnitude as in some of the

western countries, but there are no grounds for complacency. There have been reports of drug use among the students of universities in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chandigarh. The society does not agitate too much with consumption of Bhang, crushed leaves of the cannabis plant. It is customary in some places to consume Bhang on the popular festival of Holi. There is no such tolerance for charas or ganja which are derived from the same

cannabis plant. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 deals with the offences of Drug trafficking. Section 21 is the penal provision which stipulates that whoever manufactures, possesses, sells,purchases, transports, imports inter-state,exports inter-state or uses any manufactured drug shall be punishable with Rigorous Imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to twenty years and shall also be liable to fine. In repeat offences, there is provision for death penalty too.The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 provides for detention of persons connected with illicit drug

trafficking upto two years. An officer of the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government, specially empowered under

the Act, can issue orders for detention of the any person (including a foreigner) with a view to preventing him from engaging in illicit traffic of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. On an average about 50 persons are detained under the Act every year.

There were 18273 cases registered under the NDPS Act in 1998 which was an increase of 31.8 % over 1988, but a decrease of 4.2 % over the quinquennial average of 1993-1997. 21386 persons were arrested under the NDPS Act of which major work was done by Narcotics Control Bureau, a central agency for dealing with cases of drug trafficking. It has registered 11330 cases in 1998 of which 5809 cases were for Ganja, 2713 were for Heroin and 1771 cases were for Hashish. 62591 kgs of Ganja, 8478 kgs of Hashish and 597 kgs of Heroin were seized. During 1998, 12601 persons were arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau, which included 95 foreigners. 11612 persons were prosecuted in a court of law, 2782 persons were convicted and 5712 persons were acquitted. 16.9 % of drug cases pending in trial were disposed by the courts during 1998. Property worth Rupees 23.85 million was forfeited and worth Rupees 30.64 million was frozen. In a recent case, the Government of Orissa (State Government) confiscated property worth over Rupees thirty million of drug lord Mohammed Azad Parvez of Balasore, Orissa which included an ice factory, a saw mill, a market complex, a cloth store, three residential buildings and three acres of land. The accused was apprehended by Narcotics Control Bureau in 1998 on charge of heroin trafficking alongwith his wife and associates. Financial investigation was conducted by the agency into the movable and immovable properties

under Chapter V-A of the NDPS Act, which led to confiscation.

India is signatory to three UN Conventions on Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances held in 1961, 1971

and 1988. India is a party to the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988. Government of India has entered into bilateral agreement and Memorandum of Understanding with a number of countries. The countries with which India has signed bilateral agreement for drug control are USA, UK, Afghanistan, Mauritius, Russian Federation, Myanmar, Zambia, UAE, Iran, Egypt, Bulgaria,

Romania, Mauritius. India has also signed a special bilateral agreement with Pakistan in this regard.

III. ILLEGAL FIREARMS

TRAFFICKING

Small arms used in guerilla warfare in some parts of the world are now available at cheap cost in other parts of the world.According to an estimate, there could be 750 million small weapons for such arms trafficking. India has a long coastline of about 7500 kms. and a long border with Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Border Security Force guards the borders, but it is not possible to have presence across each and every inch of the border. Customs Department has also seized illicit arms in significant quantities. In India, states of Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir have been particularly vulnerable to arms trafficking across the border. More than 7500 pistols and revolvers, 2500 magazines and 28000 rounds of ammunition have been seized from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. During 1997, the Border Security Force seized several AK series rifles, 7 heavy machine guns, 204 pistols/revolvers, 18 rocket launchers, 54 other type of rifles and ammunition from Punjab and Jammu &

Kashmir.On 17th February 1996, Delhi police recovered 361 pistols of 0.30 caliber with the inscription "Made in China by Norinco", 728 magazines and 3738 live rounds in a cavity in the undercarriage of a caravan bus. A Swiss national and an Iranian living in Pakistan since 1981 were detained. Investigation disclosed that this infact was

the second consignment, the first one having been successfully transported in 1995. 22 persons including five foreign nationals have been prosecuted in the court of law in this case.

Delhi Police caught five fugitive members of the Chhota Rajan gangincluding an Assam Rifles jawan and two

Nepali nationals who were planning to set up a major arms and money distribution base in Delhi. In 1993, a consignment of AK-56 rifles, magazines, live rounds and hand grenades were sent from a Gulf country to land at

the coast of Dighi Jetti in the State of Gujarat. Subsequently huge quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives (RDX) were smuggled by sea route at Shekhadi in District Raigad. These were used for Bomb blasts in Mumbai on 12th March 1993, which caused terror, widespread damage, and loss of 257 lives and maiming of 713 persons. During investigation, some of the arms recovered included 62 AK-56 rifles with 280 magazines and 38,888

rounds, 479 hand grenades, 12 pistols of 9 mm make with ammunition, 1100 electric detonators, 2313 kgs. of RDX and many other weapons. In the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India, 24 AK-56 rifles, 5250 cartridges, 81 magazines and 27 hand grenades were recovered by police on 4th November 1995. Hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight on the 24th December 1999 in Kandahar was the latest incident of the use of illegal weapons in the hands of terrorists. After investigation, the CBI filed a chargesheet in the court of law against five hijackers and their accomplices. A sensational case called Purulia arms drop case was an example of illicit arms trafficking by air. On 17th December 1996, an Antonov 26 aircraft dropped over 300 AK 47/56 rifles and 20,545 rounds of ammunition, dragnov sniper weapons, rocket launchers and night vision devices in Purulia village in West Bengal. The aircraft was bought from Latvia for US$2 million and chartered by a Hong Kong. registered company Carol Airlines.

Payments were made mostly from foreign bank accounts. The aircraft picked up consignment of arms from Bulgaria using end-users certificate issued by a neighbouring country. The arms were airdropped over Purulia in the state of West Bengal. This case was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and chargesheeted in the City Sessions Court, Calcutta. After trial, the court found the accused persons guilty of offences under Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act, Explosives Act, and the Aircraft Act and sentenced Mr. Peter James

Gifran Van Kalkstein Bleach (British National), Mr. Alexander Klichine, Mr. Igor Moskvitine, Oleg Gaidash, Evgueni Antimenko, Mr. Igor Timmerman (all Latvian nationals) and Vinay Kumar Singh (Indian national) to various terms of rigorous imprisonment on 2nd February 2000. The five Latvians were released on 22nd July 2000 when their sentences were commuted by the President of India.

Illicit trafficking in arms is punishable under Arms Act, 1959. The incidence of the Arms Act cases showed an increase of 20.8 % over the decade 1988-1998. In 1998, 63518 cases were reported which showed a decrease of 4.2% over the quinquennial average of 1993-1997 and 14.3 % over 1997.66868 persons were arrested for violation

of the Arms Act. 19.3 % of cases pending trial were disposed by the courts in 1998

IV. HUMAN (WOMEN AND

CHILDREN TRAFFICKING)

Commercial sex in India is a 400000 million Rupees annual business. Thirty percent of the sex workers are children who earn about Rupees 110000 million every year. There could be about 0.3 million child sex workers in India of which 0.1 million could be less than 18 years of age. 15% of the sex workers are in the six metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Delhi receives sex workers from 70 districts, Mumbai from 40, Bangalore from 10 and Calcutta from 11 districts. Some sex workers have also come from Nepal and Bangladesh.Mumbai and Goa have had incidence of paedophilic offences too. These places draw a number of foreign tourists. Fear of AIDS has contributed to the involvement of minor girls in the business because demand

for virgins has increased exponentially with the fear of infection. There is also a myth that young girls in their pre-puberty cannot be infested with AIDS. A number of young girls from southern India have been sent to the Arab countries. There have also been reports that India has served as a transit point for trafficking of young virgins from Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh to the Middle East, mostly Dubai. Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 was the main Act to deal with these offences. This Act was amended in 1978 and was reenacted

under the name of 'Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act in 1986' to rectify some lacunae in the older Act. Punishment could be imprisonment for a period of 7-10 years or for life. Indian Penal Code stipulates that sexual intercourse with or without her consent with a girl less than 16 years of age amounts to rape punishable with imprisonment for life. National Commission for Women is a body that reviews laws, conducts inquiries for redressal of complaints, undertakes promotional research for policies, advises the Government and ensures custodial justice for women. Section 10 (4) of National Commission for Women Act, 1992 gives the Commission powers of a Civil Court. The National Commission for Women has formed an Expert Committee and has formulated a ten year National

Plan of Action (1997-2006) to co-ordinate with the ninth and tenth Indian Five Year Plans.There were 8695 cases reported under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act in 1998

The number of cases showed a steadily declining trend upto 1996 but increased by 4.5 % over 1997. 15363 cases of kidnapping of women and girls were reported in 1998, which were up by 4.8 % over the previous year. 146 cases of importation of girls were reported in 1998 compared to 78 cases in the previous year showing an increase of 87.2 %. 171 cases of procuration of minor girls were reported in 1998 as against 87 in 1997 but 206 in 1994. 11 cases of selling of minor girls for prostitution, 13 cases of buying minor girls for prostitution and 699 cases of kidnapping of minor girls were reported. 17247 male and 1217 female offenders were arrested for kidnapping and abduction of women and girls. 12879 persons ( 11617 males and 1262 females ) were arrested under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.

V. CARD FRAUD

Some of the popular credit cards in India are as given below:

Card name

Type

Annual

Fee

Interest

Rate

Max.Credit

American Express Gold

International

Rs. 2400

2.50 %

51 days

Bank of Baroda

Domestic

100

3.00 %

51 days

Citibank Silver/ Classic

International

750

2.50 %

45 days

Stanchart/ Gold

International

2000

2.50 %

52 days

HSBC Gold

Domestic

1500

2.50 %

48 days

Stan Chart/ Executive

International

1200

2.50 %

50 days

ANZ Grindlays / Gold

International

2000

2.9 %

45 days

SBI Card

Domestic

500

2.50 %

50 days

There are 8000 million Rupees worth of Master Cards, 7000 million Rupees worth of VISA cards in circulation. Merchant/ service establishments are about 95000. In India, credit card fraud losses have occurred as per the following categories:

(i)

Counterfeit

32%

(ii)

Lost cards

30%

(iii)

Stolen cards

20%

(iv)

Multiple imprint

5%

(v)

Mail/Tele orders

4%

(vi)

Others

9%

VI. MONEY LAUNDERING

In India, money laundering is indulged in mainly by corporate houses to evade taxes unlike in some other countries where it is mostly related to illicit drug trafficking. Non-resident Indians have been given some special banking facilities. These facilities are misused to bring back the money as white money. For example, a portfolio account is opened in a foreign country and the money is laundered back to be invested in the stock markets. Another modus operandi is to launder the money through bogus exports. The conversion of black money is done by over-invoicing of the products to countries like Russia and the former Soviet Republic countries. Some shell companies are set up to issue bill or invoices accompanied by bogus transport receipts in order to obtain funds against these documents from bank/ financial institutions and then divert major part of such proceeds by issue of cheques in the names of non-existent front companies of cheque discounters. The cheque discounters then handover cash immediately to the party after deduction of their commission. The cheque discounters are generally associated with commodities market where fake transactions in commodities can largely go unnoticed. The cheque discounters also issue fake Letters of Credit and false bills. The cheque discounters file income tax returns in which the commission is shown as taxable income.

In India, tackling problem of laundered money is correlated with the problem of tackling black money. There is a wide gap between the number of persons with taxable income and the numbers who actually pay income tax. This is despite the requirement of compulsory filing of income tax returns by any one having taxable income. Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act makes the pseudo owner the real owner of the benami property. Tax raids and seizures, penalties and prosecution have been some of the measures to check black money. However, success has not been satisfactory. Certain special measures such as Voluntary Disclosure Scheme under which the evader discloses income on promise of concessional rates and immunity from penalties and prosecution. There have been other schemes like issue of Special Bearer Bonds, Special Levy on deposits in the National Housing Bank, waiver of penalty and interest, Foreign Remittance Scheme in 1991-92, India Development Bonds, and Gold Bond Scheme of 1992.

Money laundering had so far been dealt with under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973, but with effect from June, 2000, FERA has been replaced by Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act and a Bill to enact money laundering law to be named The Prevention of Money Laundering Bill has been introduced in the Parliament by the Government of India. Money laundering has been proposed to be a cognizable crime punishable with rigorous imprisonment of 3-7 years which could be extended to 10 years and a fine upto Rupees 0.5 million. The acquisition, possession or owning of money, movable and immovable assets, from crime, especially drugs and narcotics crimes, would tantamount to money laundering. Concealment of information on proceeds or gains from crime made within India or abroad is an offence too. An adjudicating authority is proposed which would have powers to confiscate properties of money launderers. An administrator may be appointed to manage the confiscated assets. An appellate tribunal is proposed to be set up with three members to hear appeals from the orders of the adjudicating authority. The rulings of the adjudicating authority are thus not contestable in the local courts. Financial institutions are expected to maintain transaction records and furnish these to the adjudicating authority. Failure to do so is punishable too.

The alternative remittance system through non-banking channels is called Hawala in India. It is based on trust in which the remitter pays the Hawala dealer in foreign country and the associate of the Hawala dealer pays the receiver in the home country. Since Hawala dealings are illegal, the transactions take place through word of mouth or other non-conventional means of communication. Since there is no audit, no control and no check, anonymity of the customers is maintained. There are hawala dealers in India and wherever people from Indian sub-continent are settled. Hawala routes are used both by ordinary people as well as drug traffickers, terrorists and unscrupulous businessmen.

In one of the cases of money laundering dealt with by the Central Bureau of Investigation, an organized group of the Hawala dealers operating from London and Dubai used to receive remittances from foreign banks for transferring to India. A telephonic message in coded words would be passed to agents in India to pay money in Indian rupees. The remittances so received by the above mentioned persons in dollars or Pound Sterling at London and Dubai were used for purchase of gold, drugs, arms, ammunitions and explosives through the underworld. The arms, ammunitions and explosives were used to be smuggled into India and sold to various criminal/terrorist groups while the drug used to be distributed to the traffickersElectronic Payment Technologies are coming to India and these are going to pose new challenges to Law Enforcement Agencies. The anonymity in transactions is bound to promote money laundering and other offences. The money launderer finds the electronic money easy to convert and transfer, and safe to store. The format of legal framework, code of conduct of business and self-regulation regarding e-commerce is under examination.

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