The Finance Ministry has begun the process to select officers for the postings.
The move has been initiated by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the lead agency to check Customs frauds and smuggling, to curtail incidents of trade-based money laundering and other financial frauds originating from China, the officials said.
COIN officers are usually mandated to pass on intelligence or information gathered from their respective positing stations overseas to help Indian intelligence agencies mainly DRI check trade-related frauds, they said.
“COIN officers play an important role in checking trade-based money laundering, black money and tax evasion by sharing intelligence with Indian agencies. Since a significant import and export is done between India and China, it was considered imperative to expand the snoop network to China,” an official said, wishing anonymity.
In the past, Customs authorities in India have detected a few cases of smuggling to and from China, he said.
COIN officers have been posted in several countries, including Nepal, Singapore, Brussels, the US and the UK, to help Indian authorities check smuggling, the officials said.
Giving details of the process, the officials said an evaluation committee comprising directors general of DRI, Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence, National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics and the Directorate General of Human Resource Development will evaluate the service records of concerned officers for posting.
After obtaining the finance minister’s approval, the panel will be forwarded to the Ministry of External Affairs for its concurrence followed by reference to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for final approval, the officials said.