Economic Offences Wing in the Anti Corruption Bureau

Economic offences are not only being committed but of late there has been a surge as witnessed during the past few years in Jammu and Kashmir. Crimes of economic nature are committed while being engaged in economic or business activities which may be in the form of financial frauds, tax frauds, cheating, deception, terror activities related to raising and providing funds and other host of such offences where money gains to self and money losses to the country and others are the basis. Such crimes need specialised and professional handling where investigating apparatus must be acquainted with nitty gritty of accounting, finances, taxes, banking and international trade, Information technology, besides usual laws related to crimes etc. Sheer professionalism and knowledge about the allied subjects that deal variedly with the economic offences is not only of vital importance but basic requirements of this special wing. It is imperative, therefore, that there should be a separate department or wing which will function as nodal agency on behalf of the Government to deal exclusively with such offences. Even if late, still last year in early March, sanction was accorded by the UT Government for establishing of an independent Economic Offences Wing in the Anti Corruption Bureau .
Now it is over 10 months, while this wing should have not only been established but we should have been knowing more about its performance and the cases handled across the Union Territory but the ground situation is a virtual damp squib rather a zilch. The structure of this wing duly announced in the said order that of creating requisite number of posts for this wing are yet to be filled as still there is no mechanism or the manner made known about their recruitment, eligibility criteria or other vital aspects of the composition. However, despite the Finance Department having given its concurrence obviously in the vital area of providing funds base for such recruitment, excepting posting of one Superintendent of Police, no other staff is posted. We can, therefore, safely deduce that the sensitive proposal as that of establishing an Economic Offences Wing has not travelled tangibly beyond the official files.
Jammu and Kashmir is a border Union Territory, a sensitive vast area where we know in addition to economic offences committed under ordinary course like in other states and UTs generally for personal pecuniary gains, there are offences committed to directly or indirectly fund and finance terrorist activities by indulging in money laundering of various hues, smuggling of and trading in drugs and narcotic substances , again, to mop up funds for anti national activities which all call for an effective, well organised and better equipped separate Economic Offences Wing . Not only that , the personnel of the said wing must be adequately trained and must get trainings on regular basis from prestigious institutions of the country so as to have the competent and fully professional personnel manning the Economic Offences Wing (EOW).
Corruption, the biggest menace in our Government Departments and even some times in administration having assumed proportions calling for a double edged approach could be dealt with by the EOW in addition to by the Anti Corruption Bureau. We have increasing Bank frauds, scams, cheating, credit card irregularities, smuggling, invoice manipulation, inflated or bogus imports, counterfeiting and other crimes which cannot be handled except by special wings like the EOWs. We have now a new type of crime known as Cyber Crime etc which need an effective, robust, responsive and solid exclusive force or wing to handle and deal with which can be done by a well organised strong Economic Offences Wing which we hope shall come up with all expectations within a shortest span of time.