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Fugitive economic offenders

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    4th Mar, 2023


India has called upon G20 countries to adopt multilateral action for faster extradition of ‘fugitive economic offenders’.


  • India has urged for action against fugitive offenders during the first Anti-corruption working group meeting held in Gurugram.
  • Economic offences have been a problem faced by many, especially when the offenders flee from the jurisdiction of the country.
  • India has put in place specialised legislation in this regard, in the form of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

Who are ‘fugitive economic offender’ (FEO)?

  • FEO is defined as an individual against whom a warrant of arrest in relation to scheduled offence has been issued by any court in India and the value of the offence is at least Rs. 100 crore.
  • The offender has left the country so as to avoid criminal prosecution; and refuses to return to face criminal prosecution.

Fugitive economic offenders act, 2018

  • About: It aims to seize the property of economic offenders who have fled the nation to avoid being prosecuted or who refuse to come back to face charges.
  • Declaration of FEO: A special court (established under the PMLA, 2002) may designate someone as a fugitive economic offender after hearing the application.
    • It has the authority to seize any property, whether it is located in India or outside, including Benami properties and proceeds of crime.
    • Upon confiscation, the central government will become the sole owner of the property and have all rights and titles (such as any charges on the property).
  • Bar on Filing or Defending Civil Claims: The Act allows any civil court or tribunal to prohibit a declared fugitive economic offenderfrom filing or defending any civil claim.

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