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THE MAHARASHTRA Police Training Directorate starting Monday will conduct an intensive week-long training programme for supervisory officers across the state after a review showed that economic and financial frauds are no longer restricted to urban pockets.
While there have been several short-term training sessions earlier for investigating officers — this intensive schedule is designed to ensure unit heads of the rank of Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Police and Assistant Commissioner of Police — who are mostly responsible for coordinating with statutory bodies have equal knowledge of all the available provisions while probing a case. According to S Jaganathan, IGP, Training, the objective is to improve on the “functional specialisation” of the police while dealing with cases involving a huge trail of documents, corporate identity, and where provisions of various regulatory bodies need to be consulted.
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While earlier the lectures saw officials from within the force, this workshop will see financial forensic experts, senior officials from SEBI, RBI, Customs, DRI and banking officials taking lectures in classrooms inside Nashik Police academy on various aspects connected to financial probes. “These cases are unlike any offences under IPC. They are all document oriented. In such cases, the first challenge is to understand what will make a good evidence which will establish criminality,” added Jaganathan.
With most of the cases registered in these categories “lingering for years”, the officers will be taught to ascertain the “quality of papers” and estimate the level of urgency required behind seizures and checks.
According to senior officials, the state police has been seeing an increase in the number of export frauds involving agro-products, number of cases involving investment schemes, and rise of agents at taluka level who are indulging in online trade even though they are not registered to trade in stocks. There are also cases where banks have defaulted on retail customers and many where an individual has cheated people under ponzi schemes showing his set-up as a corporate. The seminar will also see officials from SEBI detailing the evidence to look for in multi-level marketing schemes, and technical expertise on probing for stock market transactions.
An entire day has also been kept for detection of cases involving regulatory functions of banking and areas where frauds have been detected in Co-operatives and NBFCs. Officers from Central Agencies and former investigative officers from EOW will also be helping the trainees understand the documents required to show the criminality to court. “In most cases, the conviction is dependent on the strength of the document that is put out. In such cases the period of crime is not a day or a week, the conspiracy is to be shown through a trail of mirror transactions and sometimes involves accounts of individuals spread over a larger boundary. Further, the avenues of the proceeds are also evolved with accounts and approaches now even online,” said a senior official from EOW.
While the course is just a week, cyber experts have also been called to explain how linkages to such crime are often connected to the virtual world. Cases studies have been picked from successful conviction from state EOW units. Unlike earlier training programmes, this time the state police machinery is also evolving a system where the training will be monitored and upgraded. The set of officers will also be required to train their teams across the state and a system evolved where the training percolates to tighter chargesheets, said a senior state police official.