New Delhi, Oct. 23: India is no longer a safe sanctuary for international fugitives, a German national realised a week back.
Thomas Hallman was deported to Frankfurt on October 16 after he was arrested in Goa where he was hiding to avoid the German police dragnet. Hallman, believed to be a prominent player among the drug cartels operating in that country, was picked up following an international search and arrest warrant issued by the German authorities some time ago.
A German embassy spokesman confirmed that Hallman has been deported to Frankfurt and is now behind bars, serving the sentence awarded to him by the local court.
On the run from Germany, Hallman was convicted by a Frankfurt court on charges of violating their drug laws. He was found guilty of consuming and selling contraband substances. German police had recovered 56.30 gm of heroine, 80.87 gm of cannabis and 28.12 gm of marijuana in a raid conducted at his apartment in 1997.
Six months back, the Delhi Interpol was informed that Hallman was staying in Goa, the embassy spokesman said. Finally, on October 10, the local police tracked him down in Vasco with the cooperation of the German police liaison officer posted in New Delhi.
Interrogation revealed that he had overstayed his visit to India. A local Vasco court imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on Hallman for his illegal stay, which was paid off by the embassy staff, and he was flown back to Germany.
The deportation comes against the backdrop of the two countries signing an extradition treaty in the late 1990s, though it is yet to be ratified, said foreign ministry sources, adding that deporting a wanted person is an executive decision, while extradition is a judicial matter.
In another case, Ravinder Kumar will be extradited to Canada tomorrow where he is wanted in a criminal case of rash and negligent driving. Born in Punjab, Kumar slipped out of Canada after committing the offence. He was arrested here in July and had to undergo trial proceedings at a local Delhi court. Last month, the court ordered his extradition to which the Union government agreed, the sources said.