The CBI has brought back a kidnapping-and-murder accused wanted by the Kerala Police through extradition from Saudi Arabia, the 33rd fugitive extradited since last year, under "Operation Trishul" on Sunday, officials said.
Mohammed Haneefa Makkata, a fugitive with an Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) issued against him, was wanted by the Kerala Police in connection with the abduction and killing of one Karim in 2006, a case that was probed by the Kunnamangalam police station in Kozhikode, the officials said.
He was located in Saudi Arabia on the basis of the RCN, they added.
The Interpol unit of Saudi Arabia informed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about Makkata's location and sought a team to take him back to India, the officials said.
The CBI passed on the information to the Kerala Police, which brought the accused back to the country from Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Makkata is the 33rd fugitive brought back to India since January 2022, the officials said.
He was brought back under "Operation Trishul" launched by the CBI.
Under the operation, criminals and proceeds of crime are traced in foreign countries with the help of the Interpol and brought back, the officials said, adding that the federal agency has brought back 27 fugitives in 2022 and six in 2023.
The CBI is using a three-pronged strategy to corner fugitives under "Operation Trishul", which is giving rich dividends to Indian agencies.
The first hit is locating a fugitive through the Interpol and seeking deportation or extradition from the member country where they are holed up.
The agency also mobilises Interpol mechanisms -- StAR Global Focal Point Network, Financial Crimes Analysis Files and other channels -- to identify dispersal of proceeds of crime by financial criminals so that subsequent steps may be initiated through formal channels to recover such proceeds of crime.
The third strategy involves dismantling the support networks by generating criminal intelligence on shell companies, fraudulent transactions, money mules, and the co-accused located globally, so that the law-enforcement agencies concerned may be informed through the Interpol for taking suitable action in accordance with their domestic legal frameworks.
More than 30 high-profile criminals accused of committing financial frauds in India, including Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Nitin Sandesara, and Jatin Mehta, have found sanctuaries abroad. Agencies are trying to bring them back, with a varied degree of success so far.
According to the Interpol, Indian agencies are looking for 276 fugitives globally through RCNs, including some high-profile economic offenders.
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