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India, UK ink pacts on illegal migrants' return, sharing intel

Press Trust of India  |  London 

and the have signed two agreements on return of Indians, who are living in as illegal migrants, and sharing criminal records and intelligence.

The development comes close on heels of seeking UK's help in early extradition of tycoon from to face the at home in connection with cases of and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores.

The memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed by UK's of Immigration and India's of Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Thursday.

The new deals reflect increased co-operation between the two countries, which already enjoy a close relationship, according to a British release issued here today.

"The MoU on criminal records exchange will lead to British and Indian enforcement bodies sharing criminal records information, fingerprints and intelligence," the statement said.

This will assist the police in protecting the public from known criminals, including sex offenders and also allow the courts in both countries to access more information to support tougher sentencing decisions.

The agreement on returns paves the way for a quicker and more efficient process for documenting and returning Indian nationals who have no right to be in the to India, it said.

This has proven difficult in the past due to some not having the required paperwork or for them to be accepted back in their home country.

The official release added that the agreement commits both countries to taking a more flexible approach to verifying the identity and nationality of individuals, which will help speed up the returns process.

"I was very pleased to welcome the Indian Home Affairs to the The agreements we've signed cover the important issues of returns and criminal records exchanges to the mutual benefit of both countries," Nokes said.

"The minister's (Rijiju's) visit forms part of our ongoing dialogue and demonstrates the strong and positive relationship between our two nations," she was quoted as saying in the statement.

"As my predecessor in this role noted during his visit to last November, we are determined to create a 'living bridge' of people, ideas, institutions and technology between our two great countries. These new agreements are yet another example of the value we place on our strong partnership."

Details of the types of information exchanged through the MoUs and operational procedures, together with the details of any restrictions on using or disclosing the information will be the subject of further negotiations, the statement said.

The documents recognise the need to respect privacy, civil liberties and human rights.

Rijiju was on a visit at the invitation of Nokes' predecessor, Brandon Lewis, following their successful meeting in in November 2017.

In addition to formalising the two agreements, Rijiju also visited the to see first-hand how Border Force, a enforcement command within the Home Office, uses technology such as biometrics and gates.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 14 2018. 17:10 IST