The terms tracing and identifying have beeen defined under chapter VA of the NDPS Act 1985. Tracing, broadly means finding out the nature, title and ownership of the properties, identifying menas establishing the proof that the properties have been acquired from drug trafficking. The investigating officer thus has to find the ownership/title etc of the properties and then has to establish that the properties were acquired from drug income.
While initiating investigation for tracing and identifying the illegally acquired properties the concept of tainted property must be kept in mind. Any property, which has been acquired either partly or fully through illegal income of drug trafficking or smuggling itself becomes tainted and hence is liable to forfeiture. The Property irrespective of the activities of its owner is a illegally acquired property if any part of its acquisition cost has been financed through drug income.
The tracing and identification of properties liable to forfeiture may be carried out in following stages
Stage 1. Identify the relatives and associates( as defined under NDPS Act 1985 and explained under the Whose Property Link) of the person who has been arrested/convicted for an offence punishable with imprisonment for ten years or more. It is advisable to first collect names addresses and profession of all relatives and associates as per definition in the Act . The best time to collect this information is immediately after the arrest of the person.
Stage 2 : All relatives and associates will not be getting monetary benefit from the drug trafficker .Identify such relatives and associates who are either directly invoved with the trafficker in his drug business or are getting monetary benefits from him. After short listing the target persons proceed to trace their properties.
Stage 3 : Tracing the properties : The properties of persons identified in stage 2 can be traced by making detailed inquiries in the area where the person lives. Often the best source of information is the person himself. A few of the other possible sources are:
a) Public Agencies: The Income Tax Department; The Municipals Bodies; The Transport Authority; Registrar of companies:
b) The Financial Institutions : Banks;Stock exchanges;Mutual fund Companies;Other finance companies:
c) Individual Records: Books of accounts;IT Returns;Loan applications;Balance Sheets;Other financial records
d) Individuals The person himself ;The informants;The neighbor;The Co worker;The business associates; The Relatives