India, UK sign MoU on illegal migrants' return

India signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the United Kingdom on 11 January 2018 for the return of Indians, who have been residing in Britain as illegal migrants, and sharing of criminal records and intelligence.

The pacts were signed by UK's Minister of Immigration Caroline Nokes and India's Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju. The pacts reflect increased co-operation between the two countries, which already enjoy a close relationship.

MoU on return of illegal Indian migrants in the UK

The agreement paves the way for a quicker and more efficient process for the documentation and return of Indian nationals who are legally not supposed to be in the United Kingdom.

The move has been proven to be difficult in the past due to some Indians not having the required paperwork or travel documentation to be accepted back in their home country.

The agreement commits both countries to take a more flexible approach to verifying the identity and nationality of the individuals, which will help speed up the returns process.

MoU on criminal records exchange

The agreement is expected to lead to the sharing of criminal records, fingerprints and intelligence between the British and Indian law enforcement bodies.

This will, in turn, help the police strengthen their law enforcement and protect the public from known criminals including sex offenders.

The decision will also allow the courts of both the nations to access more information to support tougher sentencing decisions.

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Besides signing the MoUs, the two Ministers discussed the issuance of visas for dependents and students, social security and distressed Indian women. Rijiju also met UK’s security minister Ben Wallace and appreciated the Theresa May government’s cooperation in the ongoing extradition case of the controversial Indian business tycoon, Vijay Mallya.

Rijiju was on a London visit at the invitation of Brandon Lewis, the predecessor of Caroline Nokes, following their successful meeting in India in November 2017.


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