Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai attended the two-day conference held in Palermo, Italy on September 29, 2023 to mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) conference.
UNTOC conference held:
- This ministerial conference was organized by the Government of Italy and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Secretariat.
- Theme of the conference: ‘Legal and Judicial Instruments, National Actions and Challenges’
Global unity necessary to fight organized crimes:
- Referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for international cooperation, Nityanand Rai has said that 'when the threats are global, the response cannot be only at the local level', the world will have to come together to defeat these threats.
- India expresses its strong commitment to fight and root out all forms of organized crime.
- Organized crime currently represents a major global threat. Organized criminals have taken advantage of advances in technology to rapidly expand their networks. Major in:
- illegal smuggling of weapons,
- drug trafficking,
- organized cyber crime,
- human trafficking,
- money laundering and
- There are serious challenges posed by the international distribution of money earned through crime.
The financiers of organized crime, terrorism and terror are:
- Presently organized crime has also emerged as a major source of terrorism and terror financing.
- Organized crime networks often have close ties to terrorist organizations.
- Activities such as money laundering and financial crimes are known to aid terrorist funding.
- Money laundering refers to converting black money earned illegally into legitimate money.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF):
- FATF is an international watchdog for financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
- The FATF was established at the 1989 G7 summit in Paris.
- It aims to plug loopholes in the global financial system after member countries expressed concerns about increasing money laundering activities.
- FATF currently has 39 members. India is a member country.
FATF's 'grey' and 'black' lists:
- Gray List: Countries that are acknowledged as safe havens for supporting terrorist funding and money laundering are put in the gray list. This serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.
- The FATF watch list includes Albania, Barbados, Gibraltar, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Mali, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Nicaragua, Myanmar, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Senegal, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, The United Arab Emirates and Yemen were included.
- However, now Pakistan has been removed from the gray list and Myanmar has been put in the black list.
- Blacklist: Countries which are supporting terrorist funding and money laundering activities are kept in the blacklist.
United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC):
- This convention was adopted by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on 15 November 2000. India joined on 12 December 2002.
- This convention came into force on 29 September 2003. According to Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo (Italy), this convention was the first international convention to fight international organized crime, human trafficking and terrorism.
- A total of 147 signatory countries are included in it.