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UP to set up special police stations for probing financial frauds

Virendra Singh Rawat/Lucknow 13 Sep 18 | 05:01 PM

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath | Photo: PTI

In the backdrop of corporate fraud, embezzlement of funds and loan default cases grabbing media headlines on a daily basis, Uttar Pradesh Police has been given more teeth to deal with economic offenders.

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The state is setting up four dedicated police stations under the economic offences wing (EOW) of UP Police to investigate financial crimes. 

The Yogi Adityanath government has issued a notification in this regard. The four police stations would come up at Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut to probe cases pertaining to the adjoining districts, thus covering all regions and major industrial and commercial hubs.

While the Lucknow police station would probe economic offences in 25 districts, the Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut units would investigate cases in 17, 19 and 14 districts respectively, totalling 75 districts in UP.

Earlier, such cases were registered with the local police station and later probed by the EOW, which hampered their speedy disposal. Now, all such cases would be filed  with the designated EOW police stations, each of which would be headed by an inspector-level officer.

This proposal had long been pending with the government, which finally gave its nod after the budgetary outgo was estimated to be zero from an earlier projection of Rs 120 million, since the new units would now operate out of the existing infrastructure.

EOW was formed in 1970 as part of the state criminal investigation department (CID). In 1977, it became a separate and specialised investigation branch of UP Police. It conducts investigation and prosecution of cases pertaining to cheating, fraud and misappropriation of government funds in forest, excise, transport, agriculture, food and civil supplies, panchayati raj, local bodies, minor irrigation, industries and tax departments.

However, the state government could also assign cases concerning other departments and private individuals, depending upon the gravity of the economic offences. At the same time, EOW also collects intelligence regarding loss of revenue and brings such cases to the knowledge of the government for action.

A special cell for cases of Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC), fake currency, cyber crime and Copyright Act was established in 2000. Some recent cases probed by EOW included food scams in Gonda and Ballia districts, irregularities in purchase of books and stationery under Swarn Jayanti Swarojgar Yojana, fertiliser subsidy scam, supply of counterfeit medicines, irregularities in purchase of seeds by UP Seeds Development Corporation etc.

Meanwhile, EOW is drafting a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the the new police stations for seamless and effective operation.

UP Police, which is the world’s largest police force, is bolstering its cybercrime wing to tackle the rising menace of cybercriminals. It would deploy additional cops at its two cyber police stations in Lucknow and Noida.

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