Eye on Dawood aide, India inks extradition treaty with Thailand

BANGKOK (TIP): In a “major boost” to bilateral security cooperation, India and Thailand today signed the muchawaited extradition treaty after 20 years of intense negotiations, with New Delhi eyeing to bring back a key aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

The two countries also firmed up a pact to effectively deal with money laundering, terror financing and ratified a treaty on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, enabling both sides to swap prisoners after they have served a portion of their prison terms. The two sides signed seven agreements, including cooperation in space technology and education after wide ranging talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.

An MoU between India’s Financial Intelligence Unit and Thailand’s Anti Money Laundering Organization on cooperation in the exchange of intelligence related to money laundering and terrorism financing was also signed. “Our growing security cooperation received a major boost today. The Extradition Treaty, concluded after two decades of negotiations, and a memorandum on cooperation in anti-money laundering send a major signal of our shared commitment to combating terrorism, organised crime, drug trafficking and counterfeiting,” Singh said.

Thailand has long been a refuge for underworld dons and outlawed groups. India is seeking the extradition of Munna Zingada, a Dawood aide, who is wanted in several cases by the Mumbai Police. He has been in a Bangkok prison for about a decade with both India and Pakistan claiming him. Zingada attacked Chhota Rajan in 2001 on the orders of Chhota Shakeel. Rajan was severely injured, but escaped from a hospital here to avoid deportation to India.

The cooperation between Thai and Indian law-enforcing agencies had led to the arrest of Santosh Shetty, Rajan’s close aides here in 2011. Naga insurgent outfit National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) too maintained an office at Chiang Mai. ULFA leaders and other northeastern insurgent outfits too used Thailand as a safe haven.

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