India may seek Nepal’s help to foil escape bids of its wanted criminals through that country’s soil after an accused arms dealer is suspected to have travelled to the UK via Kathmandu.
The government is exploring the option of approaching Nepal seeking help to have more stringent checks on people against whom India has issued look-out notices, a Home Ministry official said.
It is still in consultation stage and no decision has been taken on it yet, the official said.
The consideration comes after controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari suspected to have fled to the UK from Kathmandu.
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India and Nepal have an open border which allows free movement of each other’s citizens.
In 2004, Rabinder Singh, a Joint Secretary in India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), was believed to have fled to the US through Nepal, weeks after he was found photocopying documents not related to his work.
Bhandari left the country late last year after Delhi Police booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
The CBI also forwarded to the Interpol Delhi Police’s request for the issuance of Red Corner Notice against Bhandari.
The ED had, last year, issued summons to Bhandari and his aides to submit documents related to the transactions of their firms as part of its probe into the case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The ED’s Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent of a police FIR, has taken note of the preliminary investigations done by the Ministry of Defence and the Income Tax Department against Bhandari.
ECIR has also recorded the charges made against him under the Official Secrets Act and those for alleged tax evasion by the Income Tax Department.
The case first came to light after the I-T Department conducted searches against Bhandari last April and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises.