In a major reform in the Tamil Nadu police, the State government has issued orders to merge the Commercial Crime Investigation Wing (CCIW) Criminal Investigation Department with the Economic Offences Wing-II (Financial Institutions) into a single composite Economic Offences Wing.
While the CCIW was formed in 1971 to exclusively deal with investigations relating to frauds, falsification of records and misappropriation of funds of co-operative societies, the EOW-II was formed in 1999 as a special wing to deal with cases relating to default in repayment of deposits after maturity by non-banking financial companies and unincorporated financial institutions.
In his proposal recommending the merger of the two units, Director-General of Police J.K. Tripathy said the CCIW had establishments in 29 districts and three cities whereas the EOW-II had units in 15 districts and the city.
He said the merger would pave the way for a single composite EOW with more manpower and infrastructure. This would help in more effective handling of investigation/prosecution of cases and go a long way in improving the functional efficiency of the EOW.
In the present scenario, the nature and substance of cases being reported at the EOW was totally different from the traditional cases of frauds and misappropriation, and hence the agency needed total “re-engineering and restructuring”.
Besides the fact that the investigators had to interact with other State and Central agencies, the number of investigations had increased manifold in the era of e-commerce and market economy, facilitated through various digital platforms.
Mr. Tripathy said premier investigation agencies like the CBI had separate wings for economic offences.
“Similarly, a strengthened, composite EOW will be efficient in dealing with cases involving complicated financial transactions… A tech-savvy EOW with professionally trained investigators will not only route to the depositors but act as a deterrent for fraudsters,” he said.
The DGP said the composite EOW would investigate cases relating to co-operative society frauds, all cases against financial institutions/chit funds/cheating in violation of the Prize Chits & Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978, offences (other than civil in nature) relating to traders and involving fraud/cheating of value more than ₹1 crore and above (other then Chennai City Police) etc.
The new composite wing will be headed by the Additional Director-General of Police, EOW, Chennai.
In the existing set-up, the EOW has two units EOW-I and EOW-II, headed by ADGP Abash Kumar. With the merger of the CCIW with the EOW-II, it would become a composite unit and would be referred to as the Economic Offences Wing.