India and Thailand sign landmark extradition treaty

Bangkok, May 30: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said it send out a strong signal of two countries' commitment to combat money laundering, terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking and counterfeiting.

Agreements and MoUs were also signed in areas including science & technology, space sciences, education, culture and people to people exchange.

India and Thailand today signed an extradition treaty and other important agreements, at the conclusion of talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.

The Extradition Treaty provides a legal framework for seeking extradition of fugitive offenders, including those involved in terrorism, transnational crimes and economic offences.

A MoU was also signed between Financial Intelligence Unit, India, and Anti Money Laundering Organisation, Thailand, on Cooperation in the exchange of Intelligence related to Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.

The MoU will facilitate cooperation in the investigation of persons suspected of money laundering, and criminal activity related to this practice and terrorism financing.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Pulok Chatterjee, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and other senior officials are accompanying Dr Singh.

PM Manmohan Singh also gifted sapling of sacred Bodhi Tree as a symbol of the shared cultural heritage to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej during his visit to Thailand, symbolising the blossoming bilateral ties.

The Bodhi Tree at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, is the exact place where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment 2,600 years ago and became the Lord Buddha.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said that Thailand remains the vital link in our look east policy and our strategic partnership with ASEAN countries.

The Prime Minister also said that the Extradition Treaty concluded after two decades in anti-money laundering and will help in combating terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking and counterfeiting.

Dr Singh said that India sees Thailand as a very important partner in promoting maritime security, regional economic integration, and the evolution of an open, balanced and inclusive regional architecture anchored in decentrality of ASEAN.

Singh arrived after ending his three-day visit to Tokyo that saw India and Japan reaffirming the importance of civil nuclear cooperation, while recognising that nuclear safety is a priority for both governments.

The previous talks in New Delhi last November made some progress, but the major task to overcome is to fine-tune how to open access to both countries' service sectors, Indian Ambassador to Thailand Anil Wadhwa said.

An early harvest scheme of the free-trade agreement, with tariff exemption for 84 items of goods, has been in force since January 2010, resulting in a high-level of bilateral trade.

Ahead of Singh's visit, the Thai Foreign Ministry said the bilateral meeting "reflects the desire of the two sides to elevate Thai-Indian relations to a strategic partnership, as announced in January last year."

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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