Lucknow, Nov 28 (IANS): The Lucknow police commissionerate has formed a specialised economic offences cell.
The cell will exclusively handle cases involving Rs 50 lakh or above to expedite investigation and ensure thorough handling of cases involving fraud, forgery and property disputes,
It will focus on cases related to corruption, invoice manipulation, bogus imports, counterfeiting and money laundering.
Joint commissioner of police, law and order, Upendra Agarwal said that the cell comprises 10 officers, including eight sub-inspectors and two inspectors. He explained that the cell is envisioned to function akin to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The JCP informed that the need for a dedicated investigative unit arose from the surge in cases related to fraud, forgery and property disputes, with nearly 2,000 such cases reported in the past year-and-a-half.
He said that the cell's establishment will not only provide relief to complainants, but also streamline the court process.
"All ten officers in the team are from recent batches, with the eldest entrant from 2015. They are tech-savvy and have a keen interest in investigation and some also have prior knowledge of financial fraud investigation," he said.
The officer added that all personnel assigned to the cell have proactively sought this opportunity and are currently undergoing training.
"Police officers are accustomed to handling cases like murder, robbery, rape and dacoity. However, when confronted with crimes like housing scams, jewellery scams and bank scams, they require months to learn the intricacies of such investigations," Agarwal said, adding that members of the newly formed cell will now receive specialised training which will enable them to expedite crime detection and ensure timely filing of charge sheets.
The officer also disclosed that he has developed a module for the cell, encompassing four key aspects which include legal provisions --This module outlines the legal framework governing such cases; Collaboration with financial probe agencies --The module guides officers on effectively interacting with financial probe agencies like SEBI, SFIO, ED, CBI and others; Critical evidence for conviction -- The module highlights the crucial evidence necessary to secure convictions in these cases; Apprehension of accused --This module provides strategies for handling criminals/ accused who have fled the state or country. The module also elaborates on the distinction between property disputes as 'civil suits' and 'criminal offences' within the standard operating procedure (SOP).