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Seven snoop units abroad proposed to check black money, customs fraud

Seven overseas intelligence units, including two in China, have been proposed to be set up by the government in order to check black money transactions and customs fraud.

A proposal for creation of seven Customs Overseas Intelligence Network (COIN) units is pending with the Ministry of External Affairs. Three COIN units have been proposed at Colombo (Sri Lanka), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Bangkok (Thailand) with a clear focus on fake Indian currency notes smuggling, official sources said.

Two such snoop units have been proposed at Beijing and Guangzhou because of the exponential growth of trade between India and China and the intelligence supported by cases of undervaluation and anti-dumping duty, they said.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), lead agency to check customs frauds and smuggling, has also proposed two COIN units in Brasilia (Brazil) and Pretoria (South Africa), the sources said.

The decision to open these two units has been taken due to their increasing importance in view of IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) framework, they said.

The proposal is being discussed with the ministries of Finance and External Affairs. The Home Ministry has actively supported the creation of three COIN units at Colombo, Dhaka and Bangkok. The MEA has given in principle approval for creation of two posts at Beijing and Guangzhou in China, the sources said.

The proposal to set up the seven new COIN units is yet to be finalised, they said.

At present, there are nine officers posted overseas in Dubai, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, London, New York, Moscow, Singapore and Brussels.

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