17 Mar 2019
Indian Customs intelligence officers to check financial frauds in China
Two posts of the Customs Overseas Intelligence Network (COIN) have been created in the Indian Embassy in Beijing and in the Consulate General of India at Guangzhou, the officials said.
Here are more details.
Finance Ministry has already begun the process of selecting officers
The Finance Ministry has begun the process to select officers for the postings.
The move has been initiated by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the lead agency to check Customs frauds and smuggling, to curtail incidents of trade-based money laundering, and other financial frauds originating from China, the officials said.
COIN officers are bound to pass information from their overseas stations to DRI.
'It was considered imperative to expand snoop network to China'
"COIN officers play an important role in checking trade-based money laundering, black money, and tax evasion by sharing intelligence from their respective posting stations overseas with the Indian agencies," an official said, wishing anonymity.
"Since a significant import and export is done between India and China, it was considered imperative to expand the snoop network to China," he further said.
Committee of high officials evaluate service records of concerned officers
The selection process involves concurrence by the Ministry of External Affairs and final approval by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, the official said.
An evaluation committee comprising directors general of DRI, Directorate General of GST Intelligence, National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics and the Directorate General of HRD will evaluate the service records of concerned officers for posting.
Following the evaluation process, the concerned officers will be interviewed
Following the evaluation process, a high-level committee comprising the chairperson, two members of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and the director general of DRI will interview the officers, said the officials.
The board will then recommend a panel of three officers for each post to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
It is then up to the finance minister to approve the panel.
COIN officers posted in several countries including Singapore, Brussels, UK
In the past, Customs authorities in India have detected a few cases of smuggling to and from China, the official said. COIN officers have been posted in several countries, including Nepal, Singapore, Brussels, the US, and the UK, to help Indian authorities check smuggling.
Panel will get final nod after getting Finance Minister's approval
After obtaining the finance minister's approval, the panel will be forwarded to the Ministry of External Affairs for its concurrence followed by a reference to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for final approval, the officials said.